Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout | Arcadia Brewing Company

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84
good
45 Reviews
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Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutArcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
214
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
26.2%
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
69
For Trade:
10
User Reviews
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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 214
Photo of bobhits
1.68/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

The pour is uneventful, dark brown turning black in the glass, but this awful almost coke like fizzy head with next to no staying power. I'm guessing higher abv on this one.

There's a lot of bourbon a somewhat makers mark dry bourbon with a lot of sugar and sweetness from the malt and perhaps even some sweetness from the yeast or a different hop profile than I was expecting.

I get some coffee notes and some chocolate over tones, but to be honest this is a hot bourbon forward as hell beer. I am now a few sips later getting a pretty strong liquorish/anniss note at the end and some molasses.

Very thin, very watery and noticeably hot.

Try this if you find it, 7-8 bucks for a 12 oz bottle, dipped on wax so the bottle snobs will be ok with the price, but honestly there are 50 better stouts in any store that is going to have this and 45 of them will be less per oz at a minimum.

*edit

Sorry but this beer gets worse with every sip. It is just not a good beer. The mouth feel is just god awful. It is watery as hell which is ok in a lager, but you need a creamy body to deal with the heat the 12% gives off. The yeast or hops that arcadia is using gives the beer an odd sour note (common with a lot of their beers) that doesn't work at all here either. This is bad beer plain and simple. Not just me being picky and score low because it is in a style where the standards are insanely high, but this is bad next to anything.

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Photo of jegross2
2.26/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company out of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Score: 45

Bottled 10/08/12. Served in a Perennial and enjoyed during the All-Star Game on 07/16/13.

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with a wisp of head that quickly settles to a pencil-thin ring around the glass. No lacing or retention -- not even oily legs. Flat in appearance. 2/5

Smell: Sweet bourbon with modest alcohol esters primarily, followed by milk chocolate. Vanilla and molasses. Raisin too. 3.5/5

Taste: Sweet raisin, sweet molasses/brown sugar and bourbon. Touch of roast. Finishes with a light sweet vanilla and prune flavor. A little boozy, but not any more so than the nose led on. I do not feel that the flavors meld well. Has an odd tanginess in the finish with a dash of licorice. Not a fan of how the flavors mix here, and the finish leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, no carbonation. Watery with a little residual stickiness on the palate. Way too thin bodied. This is far from the world's sweetest brew, but the beer has no body to back up the sweetness. 1/5

Overall: Did not enjoy this beer one bit. It was thin-bodied, flat, sweet and the flavors did not integrate well. Certainly not worth the price tag. Skip this one.

Cost: $8.99 for a 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.47/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle cost me $7..
Immediate thoughts-- not worth half.

BA Shipwreck Porter BLOWS this is one away.

This is just not very good. Rather thin, watery feel, undercarbonated.

Dry roasty malt has a hint acrid smokiness before the bourbon comes in--- it it completely over the top boozy bourbon, and it isnt a good thing. I liie a big boozy punch in the face, when it is done well... here is a poor example.

The finish offers a strange cola note.

The appearance is the best single attribute, but even that is flawed. Deep dark body with a slight head of 3/4 finger. The head was composed of giant bubbles, and when those poppped, they went quickly. From 3/4 finger to flat cola in about 18 seconds.

Overall--- no thanks.
Some beers just don't work with a barrel. I have $7 that says this is one of those.
Not worth the time or money.

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Photo of MrPlayboy
2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was let down by this beer. If given the choice between the BA Imperial Stout and the BA Shipwreck Porter, go with the Porter. The BA Imperial is all bourbon flavor with no sweetness to balance it out. Very thin mouthfeel and too much carbonation. Aroma and appearance are the only positives with this failure of a BA Stout.

Maybe I'm spoiled with all the other BA offerings like Backwoods Bastard, Plead the Fifth, and BCBS that are in the Midwest but I could do without ever drinking another Acadia Ales BA Imperial Stout.

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Photo of rudzud
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2

Received as an extra in a trade a while back. Bottled on 10/08/2012.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a darker brown hue that was quite clear initially but darkened up as the glass was filled. There was a half finger darker head that faded quickly to leave mostly wisps.

S - Aromas of sweeter bourbon, darker fruits, booze, malts, super faint vanilla.

T - Taste is quite balanced. Not much chocolate notes, mostly sweeter bourbon, faint vanilla, absurdly faint darker fruits, malt sweetness. Fair amount of booze, that actually gets a bit harsher as it warms. Its not very Russian Imperial Stout like, not sure what to make of this.

M - Mouthfeel is alright, nicely carbonated, as boozy as it is it doesnt really sit like that in the mouth. Probably the best aspect of this beer.

O - Overall, this isnt a bad beer I'm just completely confused by it. If you'd blindfolded me and had me drink it I would think its maybe a barleywine, but that's about it. Not much in the way of dark fruits, chocolate, char, anything. Just sweet bourbon and sweet malts are the dominant qualities. Really odd.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of robhbest
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A: Brownish / black with thick off white head.

S: Chocolate, slightly sour.

T: Vanilla, caramel, green olives.

M: Good mouthfeel, thick and creamy.

O: I expected more, not that its bad by any means, hopefully time in the celler will tell for this one. It hid the 12% ABV pretty well I think. The slight sour flavors have me wondering if something is seriously wrong with this beer or not. Not a bad beer but for the money I'd probably pick out something else.

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Photo of zachary80
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 3

Red waxed screw-top bottle, purchased a couple months ago, no visible date or numbering, 7.99 for a 12oz.

Pours near black, a very dark brown, with a light tan head that doesn't fully form. What does form sticks around for a long time and leaves lacing.

Aroma is a little boozy, vanilla, bourbon, light roast.

Flavor has the same barrel character, light roast, vanilla bourbon, but honestly not impressive despite being some of my favorite flavors - they seem hollow. Slightly astringent finish. A little light overall for an imperial, and not enough of the base stout seems to come through.

Mouthfeel is too thin. Carbonation is nearly absent, which is confusing because it had a small but long-lasting head. Some heat which is fine given the style and abv.

Overall - looks good, smells good, but the lack of carbonation ruins an already thin mouthfeel, and the flavors seem lacking.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a finger of brown head over a nearly black body. The head dissipates in a little over a minute and I'm left with a little ring. The beer laces up a little bit.

Booze. You get a little vanilla and malt, but this reeks of bourbon.

Malt and vanilla try to make a stand. Attempting to taste around the booze, I do also pick up dark fruit, hints of coffee, chocolate and a good woodiness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. It goes down a little easier than I had hoped. It coats the tongue rather evenly.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Fairly aggressively poured from from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter branded with Arcadia Brewing Company's logo, the Celtic knot

Pours midnight black with a bone white one finger head. The head dissipates fairly quickly, no evident lacing. Bakers chocolate, oak, and bourbon notes on the nose. Opens with dark, bitter cocoa, some fleeting dark stone fruit notes midpalate, finishes with strong oak and bourbon boozy notes. The lighter end of full-bodied, low carbonation; fairly smooth and slick. Enjoyable, but the barrel tends to slightly overwhelm the base beer at times. Less time in the barrel would actually do this brew some good, so the base beer shines through a bit more.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz glass into a snifter. Thanks Keith for this one.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a small head that reduces quickly to a ring of foam.

Smells of.. Jack Daniels. Straight whiskey at first. Tons of whiskey. Upon further evaluation, I get some vanilla extract and cocoa mixed with.. Jack Daniels. I've never smelled a more whiskey forward beer.

Taste has a little less whiskey but not much less.. Whiskey upfront, chocolate, vanilla, and toffee on the follow through, then more whiskey on the finish.

Mouthfeel is lacking.. Over carbonated and too light for a 12% stout. Not rich

If I wanted a stout that tasted like this one, I would have found mediocre stout and threw a shot of whiskey in it. Not complex or balanced. Pretty bad.

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Photo of UnderJoath
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle - Pours a deep black with thin fizzy tan head. Smells roasty malt with faint bourbon scent. A sweet malty and again, a faint bourbon presence start it off before falling off completely to a bitter aftertaste. Not as complex as I had hoped after being a big fan of their Shipwrecked BBPorter.

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Photo of Florida9
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Fully opaque black in color. Forms a modest dark tan head that quickly reduces to just the faintest hint of surface coating. No lacing.

S: Aroma is a blend of deeply roasted malts, dark fruits, vanilla, maple, and bourbon.

T: Taste is similar to the aroma. However, while all of the flavors are there - roasted malts, plum, prune, black cherry, maple, and bourbon - the flavors are thin and there just isn't much there. It's not that it's bad, it's just weak. Thin, alcoholic finish.

M: Body is quite thin for the style; on the heavier side of medium. Lower carbonation and a good bit of alcoholic heat.

O: Not a bad beer in the least. Certainly, not the best example of the style, though I can say I appreciate that this beer is not like every other Imp Stout.

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Photo of maximum12
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my burgeoning mule, lurpy1, for hiding this in a suitcase & bringing it back to MN for me. Always good to have friends who travel. I offered to pick him something up in Austin, MN, but his response wasn't terribly printable. 12 oz. waxed bottle.

Pour is black & very lively for a stout with big, bad-ass pretensions; kind of like a pink hat on a body-builder. Nose is similarly notable & very distinct: double backhoe of chocolate, in about equal parts bourbon, vanilla, & dark fruits. I hope that's intentional.

Arcadia's Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout should carry an ad from Hershey's. Bitter chocolate knocks first, second, & third, hard. Just like the nose, it's aggressive enough to nearly drown the other flavors in their cradles. On the downslope there's some vanilla that coats the tongue more than one can taste it, & the bourbon is just a hint in the back of the uvula; nice touch. Undefined fruitiness winds in & out of various sips, which I'm not wild about. Finishes with a nice sting of bitterness. For the heft of this one, it certainly doesn't linter in the glass.

The subtle barrrel treatement is a nice departure from the norm - just the hint of raw barrel - but the chocolate is too dominant, the fruit distracting. As a stand-alone beer, this is good. As a barrel-aged RIS, this is a faceless black beer in a crowd.

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Photo of BB1313
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours jet black with a small khaki head that sticks around leaving nice film and lacing. The aromas are very nice. Lots of caramel. The bourbon and the chocolate blend harmoniously, giving this a wonderful nose. There's subtle hints of wood/oak, but the chocolate and bourbon clearly dominate the nose and there's a good balance. The flavors are pretty nice, but not exactly mind blowing. Lots of chocolate malts and vanilla. Some butterscotch. Very earthy. The booze from the bourbon never goes overboard, but becomes one dimensional after awhile and somewhat falls flat. It's not hot at all, which is a good thing. Mouthfeel is wonderful. It's full-bodied, not milkshake thick, but it's thick. The carbonation is there and it's smooth like motor oil. This makes a great sipper and is easy to drink. The alcohol is extremely well hidden at 12% abv, but still remains a sipper. I wouldn't have guessed this was 90 IBU either.

This is a very solid barrel-aged stout. I just wish the flavors popped more and had a little more going on, but it's still tasty enough. I would imagine this beer would age very well, but it's drinking quite fine at the moment. I was expecting it to be hotter while fresh, but there's a nice balance, which is always a plus.

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Photo of Brandegee
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pour from 12 oz bottle into Paper City Brewery mini glass (this was a share).

A: I was expecting an inky black pour but this one has some nut-brown translucence.
S: The aroma betrays a lot of sourness and booze along with the usually coffee, tar, vanilla and bourbon smells of a barrel-aged beer. The alcohol are understandable, but the sourness is surprisingly intense.
T: Tar, tobacco, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and sweet malt dominate. At first these flavors work poorly together and seem harsh, but the beer smooths out as the alcohol takes over. A lot of interesting flavors but it's not a finely balanced stout.
M: This is the least appealing aspect of what should be a full-bodied imperial stout. The mouthfeel is thinner, more like a barleywine or old ale. There's too much carbonation initially but fades to a nice level quickly.
O: It's not horrible but not the best bourbon barrel-aged beer out there. I'd be more interested in Arcadia's barrel-aged barleywine since the regular Cereal Killer is so good.

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Photo of anth0ny
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light, immediately noticing that this beer is not as thick as one would hope. Light colored head, also not that dark brown color you'd like to see for this style. Looks more like an oatmeal stout.

Smell is deep raisin, bourbon and booze.

Big dark fruit/raisin in the flavor matching the nose, as well as a nice sweet vanilla note to compliment the tangy dark fruit, and bourbon. The flavors mesh decently, then disappear as the finish is surprisingly absent of any lingering flavors. Not the depth you'd like to see for this style, but not terrible. Surprisingly drinkable, and at 12% you feel the booze quickly.

The trend continues as absence of depth in the mouth is just simply too light for this for me. Thankfully the carbonation is on point and keeps this drinkable and smooth.

Overall, decent but definitely not worth the $7 I paid for the bottle. I bought 3 of these (ouch) plus 2 BBA Cerial Killers.

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Photo of pants678
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black body, head that's thin and temporary.

The smell's all bourbon.

Sweet. Tempted to say bourbon's stronger on the nose but that's not right. Vanilla-ish flavor, roasted malts that don't quite resemble chocolate and booze that forms a thin dark fruit and a semi-coconut.

Approachable and awfully smooth. Carbonation's particularly light. Not all that heavy, even if it were a porter. Could stand to be sturdier.

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Photo of superspak
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2013 vintage release. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger moderately dense dark khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, light char, bourbon, oak, clove, vanilla, toffee, toast, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and barrel notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, toast, coffee, light char, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Light earthy roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, toast, coffee, light char, raisin, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and barrel flavors; with a great barrel presence that isn’t overpowering and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is good; a bit thinner than expected. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good barrel aged imperial stout. Good balance and complexity of malt and barrel flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured form a bottle marked "11/09/12" into a tulip.

Appearance: A thick, rich, deep opaque brown with highlights.

Aroma: Sweet bourbon with caramel.

Taste: Follows the aroma, with the addition of a hint of vanilla. The sweetness is almost candy-like. There was very little holiness, but a black coffee astringency lingers in the mouth. There is a slight alcohol heat which helps balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Has a good feel -- a full body that is deep, rich, and thick.The carbonation is at the medium level.

Overall: This is a good, fairly typical beer of this style. I had the impression that this was a somewhat limited edition, but luckily, I've been able to find it fairly regularly at one of my beer stores. I'll add it to my "get it again" list for this style.

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Photo of WesM63
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a near non existent head. A small film of bubbles and lace settle on the top. No retention but fair amounts of lacing.

S: Smells of bourbon, dark chocolate, minor amounts of vanilla and some roasted malts.

T: Close to the nose. Lots of bourbon up front followed my some chocolate, vanilla and dark roasted malts.

M: Medium to full body. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Fairly hot at the beginning and end with a decent little trail down the back of the throat.

O: Overall, it's a decent BA Stout. It's hard to compare it to other BA Stouts as I feel it's a bit thin nor as creamy and velvety as others.

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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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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 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 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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Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.
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