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Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutArcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aforbes10 on 12-03-2006

For Trade:
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 216
Photo of laynethiele
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There is nothing I didn't love about this beer. Yes, in a year it will mellow and the booziness will subside. The smell was absolute joy! Cherry, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, bready-malt, CHOCOLATE, semi-sweet cocoa, coffee...it's all there! The taste, ditto! Let this gal age a year or more, wooow! Can't wait!! But I must. You can sit there and dissect the front, back and middle all you want, this is one damn great brew which will only get better with age. Pick up at least two if you can and drink one now and let one sit in the cellar. Enjoy, I did!

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Photo of voodoofish65usf
4.66/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very powerful aroma with a stronger taste. Pours dark. Great with food. The bourbon barrel is strong in this one. Amazingly well balanced, but still very bourbony. This is a good representation of what a Kentucky bourbon barrel can do for a beer. I would recommend this beer to bourbon enthusiasts.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

My first Imperial Stout, recommended by a knowledgeable fellow at my local craft/import shop. The wax seal took me by a pleasant surprise, a totally unique&badass touch. I then felt compelled to blast viking metal& black metal during the rest of my review, imagining that an evil sorcerer or Norse warrior would dig this brew. I digress...
Anyways, the second i cracked this puppy open, the bourbon smell was noticeable, but not fumey, acrid, or overbearing AKA tolerable, if not pleasant.
I kid you not, this poured like a cola. Despite its obvious thickness just by taking a careful look as you pour this.
Head is somewhat lumpy& very deep brown, but not so that it borders between black.
The initial is a nice big caramel flavor, very delicious, and goes down surprisingly crisp and clean. Yet another pleasant surprise with this Imperial Stout is that its ABV is up there, the "oomph" is very subtle and passes off quickly.
Overall, for my first Imperial Stout, this was a great introduction that I will certainly buy again when I'm in the mood for this particular type of brew.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Pitch black with 1 finger of brown head.

Dark chocolate, fudge and vanilla. Dark fruits, coffee and hints of bourbon.

Dark chocolate, fudge and vanilla. Rum raisin, figs and notes of dark roast coffee. A light bourbon essence. Very light on the barrel character but big on vanilla.

Medium bodied, silky, smooth and warming.

Arcadia continuously surprises me with their barrel aging program. 12%? I would have never known. :)

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Photo of KYGunner
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 poured in a snifter.

Black, dark flat with almost no life. Less than a bubbles width of head sat on top of a gorgeous darkness.

Huge coconut aroma on the nose, slight vanilla and even a bit of chocolate. Marshmallow and Graham Cracker finish the scent with a deep creaminess.

The barrel hits the tongue with all the flavor you can ask. Deep, rich creamy coconut and delicious vanilla flavor are all encompassing. Sweet bourbon and oakey wood couples with caramel, toffee and chocolate to make a beautiful mixture.

The feel is very creamy but thinner than I would expect. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's bad but with the sludge like pour I thought it would feel like a chocolate shake.

I absolutely loved this and found it to be close to BCBS and LBS and a right joy!

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Photo of stooge
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Brownish black with a nice head immediately after pour. No lacing, settled out quickly.

S- Very pleasant to the nose, aromas of malt and boozy bourbon prominently featured

T- Bourbon stands tall, perhaps a bit hot, but I prefer my barrel aged stouts to be on the boozy side. Dark roasted malt, oak and vanilla tones, with a nice lingering coffee finish on the back end.

M- Superb mouthfeel, this brew is lighter than expected, but it is well balanced and has the perfect amount of carbonation for the style.

O- Similar to BCBS, but not nearly as complex, with less body; well balanced and perfect mouthfeel. Probably a bit on the boozy side for many BA's, but personally this is right up my alley and I really enjoyed it. Wish I could find a few more bottles, thankful for the two that I scored.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage poured into a snifter

A- Pours Syrupy pitch black with little of a tan head.

S- Oak, Bourbon, Roasted malt and chocolate. A smooth, somewhat subtle and pleasant smelling brew.

T- Big whiskey notes up front. A big sour mash flavor, A big alcohol flavor as well and a good bit of oak at the back end. The roasted malt is subtle enough to allow the bourbon to dominate the palate but is quite light on flavor by itself. The roasted flavor is ever present but doesn't leave an lasting flavors on the tongue. There is a slight chocolate and caramel as well but the flavors are somewhat subdued.

M- A good feeling beer, Thick, yet drinkable and doesn't destroy the palate. A bit hot.

O- This is a solid BA stout. A strong bourbon profile and a clean palate. It is "hot", which personally doesnt bother me and may fade with age. Still. Quite good.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

No sign of a bottled on date...

Appearance: Pours black and fairly viscous as expected with a small khaki head that collars almost instantly.

Smell: Bourbon, fudge, dark fruit, caramel, coconut. I don't see how this category can improve much, wow.

Taste: Begins with Bourbon over rich chocolate. Coconut comes up next, and then the Bourbon really asserts itself; it was of course present in the beginning but really crescendos in the middle of the mouth while eventually subsiding as roasted malt creeps in. The end sees more coconut that gives way to cocoa and caramel, all of which fade out gradually and leaves a nice aftertaste. There is definitely some detectable booze heat that would blindly lead me to guess this is somewhere in the 10% or more ballpark.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied for the style, nowhere near BCBS while perhaps a bit more viscous than something like say, KBS. There is definitely more carbonation than I'd expected; you can really feel a tingle from the bubbles on the tip of the tongue and in the back of your throat.

Overall: Not bad at all. Tasty flavor profile, with a little extra carbonation and thinner mouthfeel than BCBS. Would definitely drink again, although depending on your taste, you may want to lay this down and let the Bourbon heat subside a bit for a more even keeled wash over the palate.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to AndresR for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, smoke, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with a cocoa and woody finish and an alcohol kick. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some very nice barrel aged aromas and flavors.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I picked a bottle of Arcadia's Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout last month for $7.49 at The Lager Mill. I picked up one of these along with some Bourbon Barrel Cereal Killer and I thought the Cereal Killer was pretty good so I have high expectations for this one, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a waxed brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is pretty standard just like their other Bourbon Barrel beers, simple and straight forward and it's got a lot of red wax that made it a little difficult to open. It poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through with a fingers worth of slightly darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and left a little bit of lacing behind with some noticeable alcohol legs, This beer looks good, it's true to style, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a really strong and distinctive woody oak aroma followed by some bourbon and vanilla aromas. Up next comes the malts that impart some roasted and lighter chocolate aromas followed by a nice caramel and toffee like aroma. This beer had a pretty good aroma but I wish the roasted malts showed up just a little more.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed followed by a good amount of flavors that were imparted from the barrel, the oak is still the most dominant but the bourbon and vanilla show up nicely and all together the barrel aspect isn't too overpowering. Up next comes the malts which impart a medium amount or roasted malt and chocolate with just a slight bit of dark fruits and a little bit of caramel towards the end. There's a lighter amount of bitterness with a noticeable amount of warming alcohol that is actually well hidden and it doesn't seem as strong as it. The aftertaste had some nice roasted malt and light chocolate flavors along with some bourbon. This is a pretty good tasting beer, the bourbon barrel went well with the base beer, but i wish the base stuck out a little more to add some better balance to this beer.

M- Pretty smooth, a little warming, medium bodied, with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but I wish it was a little thicker and chewier with a little less carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a solid example of the style, I have had better, but I have also had for worse, I admit I thought the base beer was just ok, the barrel helped it, but I still think a more robust malt aspect would help this beer out a good deal. This beer had good drinkability, it was pretty smooth, and the flavor did a good job at holding my attention, but I think one is enough for me, I might get myself into some trouble if I decided to drink another one by myself, it had good drinkability for the style though. What I liked the most about this beer was the taste, it was pretty good and true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, Just like the Bourbon Barrel Aged Cereal Killer it was on the thin side and it had a little more carbonation than it needed. I would buy this beer again, I only bought one since I wasn't the biggest fan of the base beer but this one turned out pretty good and I think I might grab another bottle or two at the store while they are still around, it's a little on the expensive side but at least it's not a $20 Bomber, I recommend this to anyone who likes Bourbon Barrel aged beers, it's worth a try. All in all I was happy with this beer, it wasn't as great as I hoped, but it's still good. I think Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter was better than this and it had a stronger malt backbone, but you won't see me turn down this beer anytime soon and it makes for a nice distraction while I wait for the next batch of Bourbon Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter. Good job guys, I've been digging these specialty bottles and hope to see more variants in the future.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at MBGF2006.

Poured a black color with a moderate frothy light brown head that diminished slowly and produced sticky legs.

Good roasted malt and sweet bourbon aroma.

Full body with a smooth texture.

Complex sweet stout flavor with a smooth bourbon woody finish.

Very well balanced barrel stout.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter. Thanks Jay!

A: Pours near black with a finger of dark brown head that quickly faded into a thin collar.
S: Sweet chocolate, sweet caramel, and sweet vanilla with undertones of spicy bourbon barrel and warming booze. Hints of brown sugar.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of rich chocolate fudge, chocolate syrup, barrel spices, cinnamon, vanilla, and toasted marshmallow in the finish. Aftertaste is warming with hints of spicy bourbon.
M: Full body, sweet, slick and warming mouthfeel, low carbonation.
O: Integrated and balanced bbl-aged RIS. Double digit booze hidden well. Thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks again jbck109.

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Photo of dbc5
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce waxed bottled poured into Southern Tier Pumking tulip.

A: Pour looks thick. One finger tan head, color is lighter than I expect from a big barrel aged imperial stout. Black body with no light shining through when held to light.

S: Nose is dominated by milk chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. As it warms, a bit of the barrel becomes apparent, but the three previously listed are the dominate aromas.

T: Taste follows the nose. Nice blend of milk chocolate and bourbon up front. Some vanilla and a coconut like character at the end. The barrel is well integrated in this one; the bourbon and oak isn't as upfront as in some other BB stouts such as Bourbon County or even KBS, but it definitely makes its present felt and contributes an excellent character to the beer. Very slight residual bitterness on the tongue.

M: Oily and dense. The thickness that was apparent when pouring carries over to the mouth. Fairly low carbonation, but it works well with the overall mouthfeel.

O: A really nice beer, although I would put it a notch below the heavy hitters such as BCBS, KBS, and Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth. I was slightly disappointed by the $8.99 price tag on this bottle, but despite that, I'm enjoying the drinking experience.

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Photo of founder26
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage served in a snifter.

A- pours pretty dark brown, not black, looks kinda thin. No head to speak of.

S- lots of chocalate covered cherries, some barrel/bourbon and vanilla on the back end.

T- same as nose, lots of cherries and chocolate up front followed by some oak vanilla and bourbon

M- kinda thin not much carbonation, blah

O- if this was priced under 4 a bottle then it would be great, but at 7.99 it was not worth it

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to genuinedisciple for the hookup. enjoyed from my eclipse snifter.

a - brew poured a silky black with a thin off white beige head of bubbles that bubbled away fairly quickly leaving a single island of bubbles on the surface and a ring of bubbles clinging to the glass at the surface. definitely has that barrel shine.

s - dark fruit coated in chocolate and soaked in booze.

t - decadent chocolate slaps you in the face. as it finishes leaves a boozy sangria like tingle in my mouth. nice dark fruit element.

m - thick and chewy. alcohol tingles.

o - overall a bit hot, but damn enjoyable.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours extremely black with a one finger mocha head that leaves no lacing.

S - Smells like straight up bourbon. Seriously smells like Jack Daniels straight outta the bottle.

T - Loads of bourbon and oak with a bit of vanilla. Pretty much tastes like the previous contents of the barrel.

M - Very light, boozy body with light carbonation.

O - Overall, It certainly lives up to it's name. A hot, slow drinker. Smooth for the ABV.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From 01/26/12 notes. Big big thanks to lansman for getting a few bottles of this out to me; really wanted to try it as I love the BBA Shipwreck porter. 12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks fantastic, like a big RIS should.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, vanilla, coconut, alcohol, and some caramel malts. Nice and a ton of barrel to it; I like it but it is pretty hot overall.

t - Tastes of bourbon, sweet chocolate, oak, vanilla, coconut, caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, sugar, milk chocolate. Taste is a bit sweeter than the nose with more chocolate. Still very hot and a ton of bourbon, though I like it.

m - Full bodied stout with moderate carbonation. I like the body and carbonation levels, but docking it a bit as it is still pretty hot and the alcohol definitely comes through.

o - Overall a good beer, but I was a bit disappointed at how hot it is. I love their BBA Shipwreck porter and this is very good with a lot of chocolate and bourbon, but the alcohol is prevalent. A good BA stout that has potential to be great, given some time. I will hold onto my remaining bottle for probably 8-12 months and see how it develops.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce wax capped bottle, not sure about the age of this bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head that sticked around for a little while. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and some coffee. I think the taste is just like the aroma for the most part. The taste seems the same to me, I don't pick up anything different at all. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating with moderate carbonation. I liked this brew, although I can't say I've ever had the non-barrel aged version. $7.99 a bottle, probably a little too much for this but it was still nice to try it. Worth trying if you come across it.

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Photo of jsulko
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pours a very dark black with very little light brown head that disappears right away.

Smell is dominated by the bourbon with almost no other smells coming through. Maybe a bit of the dark fruits in the background.

Taste is dominated by the dark fruit almost raisin flavor with the bourbon coming on very strong at the end. Very little of the actual imperial stout coming through. Finish is all about the alcohol with a slight burn.

Don't know what this Stout was like before the barrel but it is less than something special after it.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It is black as night. I really didn't get much head. I got a little bit of mocha head on top, and it was gone quick.

S - I get some bourbon and vanilla right away. As it warms I get some dark fruit with plum coming to mind.

T - The bourbon lends a mellowing effect to this beer. I get some soft notes of bourbon and vanilla. The roasted malts have melded into a molasses and dark chocolate flavor. There is a little dark fruit on the finish.

M - Full and smooth.

O - This is a solid barrel aged stout. Arcadia is rarely mentioned with all the great beer coming out of Michigan, but they have solid offerings. And for a 12% beer, it is smooth as hell.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1758th Review on BA
Bottle to Woodshop Snifter

Waxed 2012
Purchased from Binnys, Naperville, IL

App- More along the lines of a brown bordering on black in the glass. Was very dense but not as deeply rich as I wouldve thought. The head made this beer. It was a nice 2 finger light tan/brownish with a great cling line.

Smell- A lighter aromatic BA stout. It was a nice RIS with a small malt and chocolate component behind it. The oak was semi-subtle with a bit of prickliness behind it. Wasnt overly aromatic with one flavor dominating the nose. Was just a couple ticks abover average.

Taste- It was good for a BA stout. Not on par with others I have had. A bit thin on the barrel with the base RIS seeming to poke out a little more with small roast, chocolate and bitterness behind it. Semi layered to me with it being prickly vs. smooth as well.

Mouth- A lighter prickly medium body with a high medium carbonation. Bubbles danced on this one. Residual oak and chocolate with a small roasty component.

Drink- It was good. Thought this wouldve been a bit better. Semi-balanced with a good prickly flavor and a small oak tinge. Needs a bit more body and layer IMO.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep black body. Small khaki head. The thinnest of collars as it settles.

Smell - Bourbon. Oak. Some dark chocolate. Booze.

Taste - Very oaky. Bourbon behind the oak. Sharp boozy bourbon. Dark chocolate. No sweetness. Oak lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. A little boozy. Medium heavy body.

Overall - Excellent beer all around. Never overpowering, except maybe the oak.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out of the bottle dark brown, produced a finger of khaki colored and tight bubbled head. Smells of vanilla, oak, milk chocolate and bourbon booze. Smells really good. Taste is much the same as smell. A thin body that tasted of vanilla up front, milk chocolate and a lingering bourbon alcohol flavor that seems to wash out most of the other flavors. Eh. This drinks like a lot of the midwestern bourbon barreled stouts a la Blacknote and Blackout. Thin body, huge bourbon notes and almost no sweetness.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this just as they opened up the barrel at Arcadia for their 10th Anniversary celebration last night. I don't think there's a plan to bottle it. Looks nice in the glass. velvety black. About right for style. Has a small light brown head for a minute or two, and then nothing. Smells kind of barely chocolatey and maybe a bit fruity. Taste is, i have to say, a bit odd for the style. Up front I get a bunch of chocolate covered cherry flavor dominating. Like TONS of cherries...not bitter cherries but sort of creamy chocolate cherries. Some weak bourbon/alcohol flavor in there. Then the flavor is more like a creamy chocolate and coffee with a coffee-like finish. It's a think and well-balanced beer and not bad overall. Definitely easier to drink than some others within the style. And i wouldn't say it tastes much like their regular Impy at all.

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Photo of GJ40
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 12oz bottle. Thanks surge1311!

A - Jet black with a small tan head of large bubbles that dissipate quickly.

S - Bourbon dominates but there's also some molasses, chocolate and coffee.

T - Bourbon and oak with some chocolate. Starts nicely but fades fast. I expected the flavors to last longer. It could use more depth and complexity.

M - A little too thin for the style but a nice low carbonation of fine bubbles.

O - Well worth a try but not especially compelling.

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Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
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