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 Kendo
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Body is dark brownish with a small beige head that settled quickly to a thin film. No lacing at all.

S: First impression is berries and fruit in general, with some alcohol -- rum -- and something a tad bit mediciney.

T: Follows the nose, unfortunately, with sweet malt flavors dominant. Berries & fruit, butterscotch & toffee, brown sugar and dried fruit (raisins, maybe some prunes even). Hint of hop bitterness at the back of the sip, but it can't step up to the malt profile at all. Alcohol heat and spice at the back end as well, but overwhelming impression is of sweetness.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Not so great. Glad I split the bomber with a friend, to be honest.

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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 robbyc1
4.37/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage from a bomber bottle, pours nicely into a big Duvel glass. Murky amble color, like putting acorns into water for a soak. Light head, no lace.

Deep nose of malts with dark fruits in background, very intriguing.

Huge malty taste with a bit of alcohol in the back. Tries to finish sweet, but very balanced at the end. A sipper, though not as strong as most of these styles, has complex tastes like a dark belgian ale, cherries and plums and bananas and a nice backbone.

Heavy with good feel. Drinkable with a nice dessert or cigar, one to find for sure, not sure what the problem was with previous vintages, but this one is very nice.

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Photo of biegaman
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage - 650ml bomber.

Claimed to be "a liquid ode to Richard the Lion Heart" this Old Ale does indeed looks like a beer from that time period; it has a swampy appearance, an incredibly murky, muddy brown colour (though there's some chestnut shine when held up to the light). It also lacks any signs of carbonation (though some skim trims the radius).

While the alcohol doesn't jump out at you in the aroma, it doesn't exactly provide an encouraging impression for what's to come next. It has the contrived oak smell and rough tannins of a cheap red wine. It also the phenolic vapors of poorly distilled spirit. Minor hopping provides a 'wet leaves' note while diacetyl makes for a butterscotch-y flavour.

The taste is also marked by booze and spicy phenols, bearing even more similarities to make-it-yourself red wine and homebrewed hooch. It tastes something like dried fruits and cherry pits macerated in dark rum. There's a faint impression of peppery spice too. The malts have some pleasant caramel qualities but not enough of it (or enough body) to make it redeeming.

The alcohol isn't so present as to make this undrinkable, but it seems to always to be waiting just around the corner; you sense a little of it with every sip. While its carbonation has a little zip to it, it lacks the strength to wash away the syrupy sweetness that leaves one licking their lips.

I'm not quite sure what they were going for with Big Dick's but I doubt it came together as they intended. Granted, old ale is a style that has tripped up many a great craft brewers so there's no shame in trying. But Arcadia is going to have to try a lot harder to refine future batches.

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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 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 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 mwilbur
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 1 pt 6 oz bottle into snifter. Vintage 2006.
A: Very dark, cloudy amber (raspberry color around the edges with backlighting--in hindsight this is doubly interesting). 1/2 inch tan head with decent retention.
S: Spice and alcohol. Dark malt notes.
T: Surprisingly, berry fruit hits first. Sweet, then alcohol and malt join in. Hints of spice around the edge. Clearly this ages well; nice complexity.
M: Medium body and taste lingers decently due to higher ABV.
D: I was surprised by this one. I was expecting a much heavier offering (considering it's an old ale), but this is rather sweet and lighter on the palate. Definitely unique...I will come back to this again in the future. Had I know what to expect, I might have paired this with a baguette and chevre.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale pours up with a light carbonation that creates a loose, small tannish-white head that rests easily atop a bright reddish amber-light brown body. Poor head retention. The aroma shows some nice complexity of aged bourbon, Madeira, charred wood, vanilla & plum with some rich chocolate & caramel touched by just a hint of spicy, floral hops. Alcohol noted. Very nice! The flavor starts off with some grainy sweetness with a solid caramel character, but gives way to an edgy underlying bitterness that creates a fruity, off-dry, boozy/winey finish. The flavor lacks the depth & complexity the nose promised and the body is surprisingly thin... yet this one manages to be a nice after dinner cheek warmer. Here's to Arcadia's Brew Crew and their Big Beer Series. Don't be a Big Dick!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of an off-white head that quickly recedes to a foam ring at the edge, and there is not much lacing. Body is garnet.

Smell - mostly dark fruit and dried dark fruit, such as raisins, figs, plums, and prunes. Equally, there are also apples and butterscotch, which may or may not be diacetyl.

Taste - Somewhat like the smell, just not as intense, and slightly more complex, or maybe just more subtle. There is a wash of raisins and prunes followed by apples and butterscotch (diacetyl?), along with the tiniest hint of malt biscuits, finishing with figs, and a hint of horseblanket.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and a little semi-dry at times.

Drinkability - this is a very good ale, only it's high abv limits sessionability.

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Photo of Pencible
4.67/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. This poured a dark, hazy brown with orange accents and tan head. It smelled like a blend of delicious malts including caramel, barley, and rye, as well as mild orange and copper hops. It had a very complex and well balanced flavor, tasting first like sweet caramel and milk chocolate malts, then like bitter floral hops, then like earthy and leathery malts. It was somewhat thick with no carbonation and a very smooth and sweet aftertaste, and it had a bit of alcohol warming. Overall this was a fine example of one of my favorite styles of beer. Delicious.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: dark cranberry-mahogany color.

S: big pine resin flavor, with a dry caramel sweetness.

T: light cocoa notes and a nice fruitiness (cherries, plums, and raisins).There were some dried grapefruit and dried woody notes. Bitter hop flavor that ends with some malt sweetness. Chocolate, and nutty roasted palate. Some dried fruit notes (cherries, raisins) is evident upon warming.

M: medium body with some creaminess and slight sharp bitterness

D: Fairly average per style, worth a try, maybe not a six-pack.

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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 scruffwhor
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep leather and mahagony color with some light bubbling and a light head. Just a great color though. Very nice when swirling in a snifter. The aroma is full of syrupy, caramelized fruits. The taste starts with dark figs with a little leather. Then some roasted apples in with a very light cinnamon syrup ith a sweet yet slightly herbal finish. Very warm beer, but very tingly on the back of the tongue. Great sipping beer. Glad this beer is finally available in Illinois.

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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 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 plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep amber little cloudy, but it is bottle conditioned, nice off white head that is i finger thick and quickly drops into a few stray bubbles.
the aroma is very malty, hop sack, apple skin, hint of alcohol.
the flavor is malty, very rich, firm bitterness enough to balance the malt, citrus, hint of spice lingering with caramelized malt.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big ole double duece 22 oz'er bottle pours into a tulip with a dark auburn brown hue topped with a healthy coating of cream & coffee head cap sliding down the glass.

Nose of dark fruit figs, cherries, ripe red apple, light spice cake and grain waffle. A touch boozy scented.

First swigs: Sugary sweet tea, spice wafer, and a throat scraping grainy Dr. Pepper. Seems like a touch of lactic brewed tea aspects. Dry finish with a linger of black grape and cocoa.

Feel is a tad frothy with a rolling fizz.

Last swigs: Cherry fruity Porter clockin' in at 8% ABV. This could improve with a bit more body. Seemed a tad thin and overly frothy. Despite the Am Strong moniker, it's a big porter meets brown.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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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 Wildman
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear red amber color and formed a bubbly light tan head that left latticed lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, cherry, lightly of caramel, but largely light for a strong ale. The flavor was of malt, coffee, chocolate and a hint of pepper. The body is medium light and the finish a touch sweet. As strong ales go, this one is a bit weak, it may need aging, but it doesn't show that raw power of those that even need aging.

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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 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 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 Vancer
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour of a mahogany oak, tan head died quickly – but this would leave dotted piles of lace on the way down.

Sour green grass in the aroma is different. Malty caramel, coffee and toffee in the quaff, not a bad lil’ beer. A boozy mix of tastes, cherry and dark fruits like plum pop in there. This turned out to be a nice summer sipper, with the higher abv and all. Body is fairly full and finishes with a lingering sweet malt coat.

I’ve now read some other reviews _ wow _ this one is all over the board. I’m guessing that some age time does wonders with 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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Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 280 ratings.
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