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 BedetheVenerable
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
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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Photo of ekw590
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Brick-red and amber hues, bright glow, and frothy head.
S: Very fragrant nose followed by mild hoppiness.
T: Sweet, bready malt aromas combine with rich flavors of dark fruit, brown sugar, and caramel.
M: Big, yeasty full in the mouth.
This is very much my style. Offering loads of sweetness and just hints of bitterness.

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Photo of wnh
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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 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 MbpBugeye
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a big ass nonic pint. This is a deep plum purple/red which doesnt let much, if any, light pass through. The head is off white and fades into a thick film.

S- Great smell! Its very unique. Cherries, plums and oak dominate in that order.

T- Mostly malty and buscuity. but there is alot of dark fruits, most of which are noted in the smell. Cherries and plums. Vanilla and oak are noticeable as well.

M- The body is on the full size of medium and the carbonation is somewhat low at first but the prickliness of the carbonation is felt after its gone.

D- This is more of a sipper for me. The strong alcohol and oaked flavors pummel the palate, but this is to be desired by many.

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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 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 magine
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
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 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 coldmeat23
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
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 Jayli
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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 ClockworkOrange
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my shaker glass. The bottle states this is a 2006 vintage. Appears a muted, hazy dark copper color with about an inch of off white head. Alcohol is apparent in the smell and taste, but it is not overpowering. Time was kind to this bottle, it mellowed nicely. Smells of brown sugar, bananas, and caramel malt. Bananas foster in a bottle anyone? Tastes is dominated by over ripe, brown, mushy bananas, caramel, and brown sugar. Medium bodied with slightly muted carbonation. Glad I got a chance to try this one with some age on it.

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Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
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 becktone
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes 12-14-08

2007 vintage.

Eye: This beer pours beautifully. Color is a hazy, cloudy brown. That's it, just brown. A medium brown with no highlights or anything. Head formation is excellent, and retention is nice as well (a little thicker head would be nice). Lacing is composed of thicker rings connected by sheets of lace. The head is creamy in appearance and is off/dirty white...khaki.

Nose: Lots of sweet malt aromas in here, alcohol as well. The sweet malt aroma is most similar to that of fresh wort, just after its cooled. Hops are here, but in low amounts. The citrus aroma coming from the hops blends nicely and works well with the sweet malt aroma. Maybe some sour apple aroma in there/cidery. Overall a pretty nice aroma, just about average, what is expected for something at 8% and of this style. The nose is overall pretty weak, it'd be nicer were it a bit stronger and more robust. It is possible for me to remember the smell of old stock and being the same style, this beer, Dick's Olde Ale, pales in comparison when it comes to aroma. The aroma isn't cloyingly sweet but it just has a rather one-dimensional malt sweetness that doesn't hint at any complexity.

Tongue: Real pleased with this beer. Was worried that the cidery aroma I was picking up was hinting at this one going downhill. Unlike the nose, the flavor of this beer isn't dominated by malt sweetness. Sure its there, its the first thing that you taste when it enters the mouth. Barley character is here, not quite all that upfront though. Its a subtle taste underneath the big alcohol presence which does an excellent job of giving balance to this beer. Alcohol adds depth and a measure of complexity to this beer. I don't think that it'd work if the alcohol weren't upfront like it is.

Feel and Drinkability: Carbonation is low and delicate, just right for the style. Finish is dry. Really nothing all that special, pretty much just what is expected, nothing outstanding, nothing special. Overall just right, just right as in Goldie locks and the Three Bears. This is one that I'll consider buying again. I am pleased with this beer from Arcadia, its the first I've had in a long time due to some volcanoes that I previously had. This beer is the first from them that has impressed me, the first that I'm thinking about coming back to at some point. I will enjoy drinking the rest of this beer.

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

A: Opaque brown, cloudy, nice tan head.

S: Fruity, quite a bit of alcohol, brown sugar, hops are in there nicely.

T: Dark fruit, quite alcoholic, nice toasted malt. Not cloying. Very light aftertaste of toasted malt. Fruit flavor doesn't linger. Fruit is pretty tangy.

M: Medium-light bodied, not syrupy. Pretty dry and clean. Carbonation is good.

D: Drinks well, goes down easy, isn't overly filling, will get you drunk quick. Not bad at all.

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Photo of Dalem
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium pour bigs out a thin head that doesn't last long and a spotty lace that sinks right back into this murky copper colored brew. The aroma is faint but what I detect is cherries, a splash of rum and raisins. There's a bit more action in the taste compared to the smell but not quite what one would expect from something that claims on the label to be a "liquid ode to Richard the Lion Heart". Y'know what I mean. Such grand statements prepare ya for something brimming with attitude in it's flavors but it almost seems that this is more talk than it is action. It's not bad though it just doesn't push it to some hearty full on floor ya type of flavorful level. Medium bodied-not too thick and not too light. Lots of malt sweetness and some dark fruit flavors on the tongue. Brown sugar notes in the back of the mouth and a bit of a brandy burn down the throat.

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Photo of Nickls
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
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 Pamola
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I hadn't had anything from arcadia before. A buddy picked this up in tyngsboro, mass for me for 7.50 or so.

A: Pours a nice-looking reddish chestnut with a medium tight head.

S. Nice old ale aroma with a very distinct hoppiness.

T: Nice and deep old ale. It starts light on the palate then fills out incredibly.

M: Like the taste, the body explodes after a thin start.

D: This beer would get pretty heavy. Pretty nice though and I love the style. Not enough old ales out there.

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Photo of spike882
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice head with a clean finish in the mouth. A little tart to begin with but finishes well. For only eight percent the alcohol taste is rather prevalent. Reddish amber in color with what tastes like hints of cherry in the body. Taste really develops as it gets a tad bit warmer.

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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 dirtylou
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, Binny's on Grand in Chicago

for some reason this review was in a word doc on my computer - consumed a few weeks ago

Appearance: poured into bells chalice, dark amber-mahogany body with a moderate cream head and light retention

Smell: caramel, a touch metallic, pine hops

Taste: not a whole lot going on here - pine hops with metallic traits clash with caramel malts but very minimal complexity...meh

Mouthfeel: a touch metallic, not overly full

Drinkability: ehh

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice off-gas when opened. The beer pours a cloudy burnt orange color with a lasting 1/8" head of thick tan bubbles that is every bit of half it's original height over a minute after a delicate pour. The head stick around forever and leaves a ton of lace on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: Right after I poured the beer I smelled it and got some green, almost grassy hops. Now that the beer has sat for a few minutes, I don't get that anymore. Now I get some spicy alcohol along with some toasty British malts.

Taste: The flavor is much more subtle than the aroma suggested that it would be. This actually comes across as a relatively "light" strong ale in that the carbonation and balance make it really creamy and deceptively strong. I really like the struggle that the malt and hops get into while you taste this beer. I am sure that it will be an adventure as it warms, and I am looking forward to the challenge. There is some spicy alcohol that you notice early on, but then the hops and malt muddle the works and struggle for the finish. I would go with the malt by a nose, but the hops doesn't give up easily.

Opinion: I am really enjoying this beer. It isn't nearly the blast to the palate that some Old Ales are, but I don't think that they HAVE to be like that. This is labeled as a "American Strong Ale" on this site...whatever that is. Either way, it is a pretty good beer, and I would recommend that you give one a shot...especially if you like a malty to balanced beer with mild hops. Here's to you!

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Photo of jdhilt
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Almost clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Raisin nose. Flavor is sweet, fruity and a little medicinal, the bitterness balances. $6.99 for a 22oz bottle from Yankee Spirits South Attleboro, Ma.

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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 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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