Arcadia Imperial Stout | Arcadia Brewing Company

very good
465 Ratings
Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our extraordinary Imperial Stout is black as midnight with a rich, palate-warming mouth feel. It offers an alluring aroma of dark roasted malts and blackstrap molasses with a hint of smoke. The flavor features notes of coffee, bittersweet cocoa, black licorice and hints of prune. A generous addition of hops contributes to the complexity and balance, and gives the liquid a pleasantly astringent finish. With proper aging our Imperial Stout matures for up to four years. It is the winner of a prestigious Gold Medal for Bottle Conditioned Ale at the 2002 Real Ale Festival.

OG 1090; 59 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-09-2003

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Ratings: 465 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of SiphonKing
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thick black and very strong. With an abv of 8% plus this beer is heavy. Had it in the cooler for a bit so it has mellowed a little. Still very tasty and full of chocolate, syrupy, thick molasses flavors. One of the better Arcadia I've ever tasted and perfect for the winter seasons. Cheers!

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Photo of brewbucker
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on Jan 18, 2007. 12 oz. 2005 vintage. Pours jet black with a dark tan head. The bottle still had a big lump of sludge stuck to bottom after I poured it. I think I am in for a treat here. The aroma is unreal ! ! ! Massive malted, roasted coffee, and dense ripened fruits. Flavor is liquid heaven. BIG black currants and creamy malts. Touches of roasted nuts and coffee also. This must really be hit and miss because I cannot believe some of the low ratings. Maybe the 2005 was a HIT ! . WHY IN THE HELL DID I ONLY BUY ONE BOTTLE ! ! ! ! ! Bravo Arcadia. BRAVO ! ! !

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Photo of baldycmu
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this beer up as a sigle bottle from Oak Tree Buy Rite in Plainfield, NJ. Pours a dark black color, with no noticible head. Maybe I am still fighting a bit of a cold, but I do not smell much here. Maybe the slightest bit of coffee? Taste is suble with sweet and coffee/vanilla. Maybe toffee? This beer is very smooth and the 8.4% ABV is barely there. Definitely not the best russian imperial, but better as it warms. Certainly a drinkable brew!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black with 1 1/2 fingers of thick, burnt looking tan head. Solid 1/2 finger of retention that stays strong, flaring up magnificently when swirled, and leaving a big, creamy, cascade of lacing behind. The aroma is thick with zippy coffee character that dominates but keeping the pace as well are additional notes of chocolate, roasted malts, and the thick scent of dark fruits.

The taste is a thick yet silky mix of chocolate and tart cherry character with roast and coffee kicking up the back and evening out the profile. The finish is straight up sweet tang the whole way. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a slick and viscous feel but still seems a touch light in the mouth. I'm picking up a touch of alcohol in the body but for the most part it is pretty well hidden.

This one kind of took me a bit by suprise. Nicely full and well balanced Imperial Stout flavors and although the body could have used a touch more beef, the nearly hidden alcohol content makes up for it. I took my time with this (and am glad I did as this really opened up towards room temp) and really enjoyed it.

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Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a thin coffe colored head that settles into a lacing that lasts. Roasted chocolate malty aroma with coffee, sugar cane, whiskey and vanilla notes. Very quaffable with a lot of malty flavor as well as a slightly bitter hop and oak presence. Roasted coffee and sweet alcohol/ whiskey in the finish.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up last week at Wine and Beverage Depot in Totowa, New Jersey. They had this for sale individually, so I figured I'd give it a crack since I'd never seen this before and it sounded good. This isn't the best stout that I've had but seeing how highly rated they are on here, that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is very drinkable and not as strong or complex as most of the darker beers that I've had in recent months.

The pour was decent - this has a very brown look to it but just a few shades above being completely dark. A frothy, tan head formed but didn't last very long and even though other reviewers said that there was lacing to be seen, there's none in my pint glass as I'm about 3/4 of the way through this beer. This is a weak stout by taste - not thin, not watery, but just weak in that the alcohol is barely noticeable and the flavors are very subtle. Toffee, coffee, a bit of espresso, and dark, bitter chocolate can be found here with a silky undertone that weaves them all togethe nicely. This isn't a "motor oil" stout nor is the aroma that strong, but the bitter chocolate lingers for quite some time after each sip, which is perfect for someone just getting into this style of beer.

I couldn't believe how high the ABV% was when I finally saw it on here. This is very smooth and easygoing, and a nice change from the one-upmanship that I see sometimes in this genre. It could have had a more filling aroma and some lacing to mark each sip on my glass but no matter - I enjoyed giving this a shot and am glad to have it for my dessert tonight. Not the best choice for this style but certainly worthy of a try regardless!

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Photo of SaucyA
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006. From Champane's. $2.39 for a single.

A - Pours with a decent off white head that quickly dissapates. The body is dark brown, near black, and completely opaque.

S - Has a definite banana vibe. It's like they used Hefe yeast on a RIS. Chocolate covered bananas. It's not like it's bad, it's just... not what a "normal" imperial stout usually has to offer. No booze, no HUGE maltiness, no hops in the nose.

T - Y'know, this isn't bad. I was a little underwhelmed by the smell, but the taste actually makes up for it. Starts a little fusel, with alcohol making itself known. The booze fades into a big, nice, chocolate maltiness. It's a little subdued for the style, but it's not horrible. However, when I drink a RIS, I want big. I want huge, even. Smack me around! This doesn't do it... not even close :(

M - Rather light, creamy, and smooth. I like the carbonation level a lot.

D - Drinkable for the style, but nothing I'm gonna freak out and go out of my way for.

Notes: I wanted this to be good. Really, I did. I haven't been that impressed with any Arcadia Brews and figured this would be a make or break for me... Love the label. Love the style. Just not feeling the brew.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The word on this beer was that it rivaled some of the great imperial stouts. I certainly wouldn't put it in that class, but it was pretty good. In a snifter it was black with virtually no head, just a film. It had a dark chocolate/roasted malt aroma. Taste was semi-sweet chocolate and espresso. Fairly balanced, maybe a bit more on the bitter side. Not too bad.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, 2007 vintage. Pours black, somewhat thin, with no head at all just some bubbles. Aroma of alcohol and super sweet malt. Flavor initially sickly sweet with a slight roast in the finish. There is a vegetal quality to the taste as well. Ick. The beer improves with warming but it's still quite boozy. This is not a very good beer.
Aroma: 5/10
Appearance: 3/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia- Imp. Stout

A- deep black with a small tan head. Light foamy lacing.
S- Sweet cocoa with caramel malt and burnt ash.
T- Sweet sugary cocoa with a touch of burnt marshmallow vanilla. Slight burnt woodsy hints.
M- Very sweet, sugary, and chocolaty. Smooth vanilla finish. Alc. well hidden.

Overall- Smooth although very sweet. easily drinkable and a good winter beer.

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Photo of hopdog
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in a couple of trades.

Poured a dark black color with a huge (5 finger) brown head. Aromas of wine, chocolate, and roasted malts. Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, and roasted malts. Alcohol content hidden. Lots of carbonation which was a distraction. This one left me with the impression that it was 'lacking'.

Notes from 4/28/05

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Photo of becktone
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 10-27-08

2006 Vintage...Even though I work at the Party Source in Bellevue, KY, I didn't realize that there were some 2006 vintage left on the shelves. Thanks to Craig/Brewdlyhooked13 for pointing them out to me.

First of all let me state that I've not been visited any Arcadia beer in quite a while. The first and only time I tried it I bought a mixed 12 of their "core" brews. Haven't tried any of their higher end brews. I hope I've a better experience with the higher end of their brew than I did with the "core" brews.

Eye: Black body, no light on a moonless night. Basically no light is diffusing through this beer giving any indication of its clarity or highlights....Heh..heh..hehh (evilly) just the way an Imperial Stout should be. I've only one qualm with this brew's appearnce and this is the lack of head formation, retention, and lacing. It is a sickly looking blanket about ready to dry rot. I mean if you were to wash this blanket you've have naught but lint once the cycle was how is that going to keep you warm on a cold winter night?....Less you stuff a jacket with it, and I'm not all about wearing jackets to bed less I am homless and as of now I am not. Now if I were I wouldn't be drinking this beer, but I'd like the idea of stuffing a jacket with dryer lint. Lets just hope with the upcoming election that I don't become homless because another dumbass president kills, or does his best to kill, the economy....sorrry for the rant.

Nose: Strong, very strong dark malt aroma and alcohol fill the room once this brew is decanted from its twelve ounce jail. When I first put my nose to the glass I pull away and think for a minute..."What the Hell was that?" I soon realize before I go to take another whif that some unconscious part of my brain that has lain dormant for many upon many moons recoginized that aroma to be like that of the berries from Captain Crunch Crunch Berries. Upon second smell the aroma rings about we just say that it is fruity. Anyway you look at it I really like the aroma of this beer. Strong dark chocolate malt and some dark fruit aromas, and some french vanilla aromas in there as well (french vanilla as is found in coffee). Awesome aroma, I can only hope that the beer is as good on the palate. Very impressed with this offering from Arcadia, the first Arcadia purchase I've made that I've been satisfied with.

Tongue: Nice flavor overall. It finishes with a very distinctly mocha flavor. The way if finishes quite reminds me of the overall taste of Starbucks Frappucino. There's quite a nice malt profile here, when it first hits the lips it quite reminds me of a Belgian brown-malt qualities only. Alcohol is able to be picked up as well...and then there's the dark fruity esters that come through in here just as they did in the aroma. Nice chocolate and fruity finish, the real nice blend of those in the finish sell me on this beer. I really like this one, I don't see anything wrong with it. This is one enjoyable beer. Think I'll pick up the freshest vintage I can find and see how it compares then cellar or drink depending on results. But as for now this is drinking real fine. HELL YEAH!

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: In the mouth this one is thick, sure not as thick as Dark Lord, but there was some Dark Lord thick-like qualities to it as it rolled cross the palate...there was what felt like a thick film that left itself on the tongue after being swallowed, yeah it sounds gross, but it really is great for this beer. Real nice mouthfeel as it should be for the style and better than most of the same style that I've had. Drinkabilty on this guy is hard...Since it is aged two years. Right now it is drinking religously, great, awesome. I can't tell you how well it drinks though fresh (so unfortulately it is reflected in the score). And if it only drinks this well after two years than that is a shame, because I'm telling you right now that this one is probably better at two years than fresh...just a hunch. Right now it seems perfect. I am really impressed with this beer. If you have it then age it for 2.5 to 3 years (as it is almost the turn of the year, but then again I don't know which month this was bottled). Easy drinker and just great, I'm really happy with this one.

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Photo of soupyman10
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't been too impressed with Arcadia as of yet, but it's a fairly cheap local brew when I'm with my family in Michigan, so I keep going back to them. This one's solid, better than average for them. It's one of the second tier of RISs I've had, along the lines of a Clipper City Peg Leg or Weyerbacher Heresy. Pitch black beer, of course, with a smallish head. It's got a lot of stouty flavors - chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. I could do with a bit more spunk to it, some dried fruit or something. It's just not quite as exciting as I usually hope for in a RIS. Not bad, just not mind-blowing.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, acquired via trade from jpm30, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and roasted malts along with a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very rich and malty with creamy flavors of milk chocolate and coffee up front and background flavors of dark fruits. There's a slight hint of alcohol and a mild but complimentary hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling for the style, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a very flavorful big stout that is worth drinking for a long time if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hello, what's this? A 2006 vintage among the single bottles...*take*...

Appearance - an opaque black brew. A thin cover of wispy cocoa-colored bubbles. Some light negligible lace. The beer maintains a solid collar.

Aroma - intense roasted grain, chocolate, molasses, some vanilla with warming. Smells like an imperial stout ought to.

Taste - roasty, toasty grains to start. Chocolate syrup with a touch of alcohol follows. A bare trace of bitterness on the swallow, mellow and complementary. Finishes toasty with espresso notes.

Mouthfeel - a touch thin for the style but a nice smoothness, enhancing the weight.

Drinkability - a delicious warm treat on a cool fall evening.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured a dark opaque color with a thin sudsy tan head.

S: On the nose was a nice aroma of cherries with some chocolate.

T: Flavor is rich chocolate/coffee with dried cherries and raisins.

M: a tad thin at times but the alcohol detection at 8.4% abv was well balanced. Big coffee finish on the tongue.

D: Great drinkability and enjoyment though not as big as expected per style.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Right off the bat.
It's not offputting, though, just a little bit in your face.
The rest of this beer is not quite as in your face as the style tends to be which is kinda nice. Full, strong flavors but nothing over the top. The smoky character defines this.
All in a full flavored, full of character yet pretty session-able Russian Imperial stout. Easily worth a try and well brewed.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.64/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - I like the simple, but nice label that reminds me of the cold months of winter as I sweat my nuts off in this 90 degree heat. Deep mahogany brown ...almost black in the glass, but you can see the murky brown-ness during the pour. the head is fluffy at about two fingers, and lots of really fluffy lace gives us a clue as to how thick this one is. The color of the head is almost reddish brown in cedar wood.

S - Rich chocolate notes abound. Bitter bakers chocolate, rich dark chocolate, and a woody sawdust smell that reminds me of my grandpa's basement woodshop. There is a smoky element to this that is quite alluring. Nice.

T - Bitter espresso and salty dark chocolate. Again, this has a very roasty and woody taste that I'm really enjoying. The hops are coming in with force as the sip progresses to a swallow, and the interplay of bitter sappy hops with bitter bean espresso and salt is pretty cool.

M - Rich, silky, and satiny carbonation combines with a full buxom body to make this a brew worth savoring. This feels like putting an expensive Japanese silk kimono in your mouth. 'm reminded of the crema that sits atop a good cup of espresso....this is that damn silky and rich.

D - A simply killer beer. Kicking ass all over the place, this is a very impressive effort from Arcadia. I'll buy this again for sure.

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Photo of JDV
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Holdenn. Thanks man!
Pours dark black with a big lasting tan head in a snifter. Smell is vinuous, slightly peanut buttery and rich and roasty. Alcohol is hidden well. Taste is roasty, but not too highly, or burnt, and is smooth, creamy and nutty. Very soft but suitable carbonation aids in its rich, creamy smooth mouthfeel. Very solid, and highly drinkable with soft nutty and chocolately roasty flavors. Reminds me a bit of Thirsty Dog Siberian Night.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Coffee/chocolate nose. Flavor is a strong roasted/burnt coffee with hints of sweet chocolate. Decent imperial stout. $2.89 for a 12oz bottle from Yankee Spirits South Attleboro, Ma. 2007 vintage.

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Photo of Crosling
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark brown, small, quickly diminishing foam. Sparse nose of fudge, cocoa and black licorice, but it's a stretch. Really light body, with little texture. Flavor shows some chocolate, but the flavors are really light and a bit of a stretch. As an Imperial Stout, this is disappointing.

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Photo of explosivebeer
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very black. Good rich caramel aroma with a hint of alcohol. It really opens up after sitting in a tulip glass for 20 minutes. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, and alcohol come across. The body is good but the alcohol thins it a bit. Overall a very good imperial stout.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A short head of dark, almost orange-brown froth rises above an opaque black body as you pour. The head retention is limited and it leaves little lacing. Some of that may be due to its higher alcohol content, but for the style it should be better.

The aroma is surprisingly hoppy, leafy and lightly grassy, over notes of roasty dark malt and a berry-like fruitiness. It's roastiness is pretty solid, and it's more espresso-ish than standard coffee-ish or nutty, although there is a bit of both (regular coffee and nuts), and some sweetish caramel underneath as well. Mainly, however, it's dark malt roastiness.

In the mouth it's medium-full, and very smooth with a moderate, very fine-bubbled carbonation. A little more creaminess, via body and a just-slightly higher carbonation level would be nice, but it's oily and silky body is fairly nice as is.

The flavor delivers everything that the nose expresses with no extra nuances added, but it's quite enjoyable as is. It's roasty without being acidic, and it has a beautiful note of very dark bittersweet chocolate that resonates in the finish! The yeasty fruitiness becomes more apparent as you progress through the glass; and it's superbly balanced between malt and bitterness. To top it off, there are some clearly leafy and grassy hops as well! A bit more complexity withiin the depth of the malt would be nice, but as it is, it's very drinkable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with very little tan head. Nose is thick molasses and malts. Flavor is reminiscent of BCS. Bit of an alcohol hit, and mostly a thick molasses character. Feel has a lowe carbonation and the liquid is fairly thick bodied. Even though this one has a lot of thick character, it's very easy to drink. A nice RIS.

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Photo of Billolick
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, with some sort of info on the label, which I can make no sense of.comes in an expensive ($15) four pack. Pours inky black, very dark fine bubble head, and leaving moderate sticky lace. Rich nose of dark malts and mocha. Full flavor, full enjoyment, RIS, allowed to warm in the glass, tiny bubble film in all its glory, easy drinking, lots of soft, sweet cafe au lait/mocha notes, medium body, complex with some sweetness early, roasty middle then mild drying hops late. Nicely done, stout lovers rejoice, go get some

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Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 465 ratings.
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