Arcadia Imperial Stout | Arcadia Brewing Company

Arcadia Imperial StoutArcadia Imperial Stout
Liked This Beer
3.81 w/ 466 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 466 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of gordavidson
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 Bottling.

A- Black as night with just the slightest amount of light getting though on the top edge. A small brown head forms and settles to some thin covering.

S- Lots of smooth roasted malts, some alcohol, cinnamon and vanilla. It is starting to get that wonderful "aged" quality. Kind of smooth and subdued. Definitely not in your face.

T- Very smooth and roasty. Sweet with lots of older hop presence. Some vanilla, alcohol and cinnamon are noticeable. Still a tad messy- surprisingly this could probably use some more time.

M- A little dry and cloying. The carbonation level is smooth though.

D- It is almost there... maybe it just needs some more time.

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Photo of akorsak
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from tangfoot in the 'I Want That' bif.

A: The stout opened with nary a hiss, pouring with so little carbonation that you'd think that the bottle was opened a few days ago. Only at the conclusion of the pour did a small coffee-and-cream colored hear emerge. Just as mysteriously as it appeared, it was gone. The RIS itself is big and black, nothing unusual to say about it.

S: The nose is full of malty depth. Burnt toast and roasted grains mix with coffee, chocolate and grahm aromas. The aroma is a nice set-up for the body.

T: The taste starts off a little thin, letting me down a bit. The more it sits in the mouth, the more things improve. The upfront flavor is malty, but not big malty. Instead it has a dunkel-esque flavor, slightly sweet with caramel but lacking the big RIS substance. After that initial let down, the robust stout flavors return. Chocolate and coffee flavors mix with dark burnt cereals. The aftertaste is a nice memory, retaining the burnt flavor long after the sip is gone.

M: The mouthfeel is solid, if not a little too thin. This is a milder RIS, a little lighter and more drinkable than many that I've had.

D: The 8.4% is still a whopper, even with the lighter flavors. This wouldn't be my first choice for an RIS but it still gets the job done.

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Photo of hellcatsjg
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage

Appearance: Deep black with a light brown head that disappered quite quickly. Good looking stout.

Smell: Alcohol, followed by coffee and chocolates.

Taste: Nutty, roasty, and malty. With nice bits of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. The alcohol that was so prevelant in the nose is gone with the taste, which is a good thing.

Mouthfeel: Nice thickness but also quite smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable stout. Too bad it's my only one.

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Photo of Mdog
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, thin head that disappears.

Smell: Dark fruit, coffee, alcohol.

Taste: Roasted sweetness, some hints of fruit. Balanced by a coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Seems to be a little thin for the style.

Drinkability: Not too strong to have a couple.

Arcadia makes some decent beers, and this one fits that description. Gets the job done if you're looking for a slightly stronger stout that won't put you down for the count.

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Photo of cokes
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage.

Glintless tar black with a receding cappuccino head that lingers as an edging.
Fragrant of soy sauce, molasses, plum, char, and blackberry brandy. The nose is more or less perfect, just a bit meek.
It rides a huge molasses and black currant wave into the mouth. Fudge swells up and drowns the teeth. Turns smokier, with traces of char. I remember this being more acrid burnt when fresh. Hops have largely dropped out of the picture after 2 years. It concludes with a briny wash of soy sauce, concord grape jamminess, and lingering fudge.
It galavants into the mouth fat and proud and chewy, then goes flaccid. For as much girth as it carries across the lips, it is almost lean by the time it reaches the throat. If it didn't go limp, it would really be something.
When this was fresh, it was bold and brash with huge burnt maltiness and a competing wintergreen hop electricity, and more forward alcohol vapors. It didn't entirely mesh, but it had some "experience"-beer charms. It's lost all that aggressiveness, but it's evolved into a stately, lush, and throroughly intergrated Imperial Stout. And one that's as easy to drink as any.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Vancer for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, some oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is of roasted malts, vanilla, and lots of toffee/coffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, nice touch of roasted malts, coffee and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, glad to have found another enjoyable brew from Arcadia.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JeffKrenner for this beer.

A: Really dark, dark brown…almost black but just quite. Head fell quick and left a strong and pronounced coppertone ring around the glass.

S: Melted dark chocolate, oily and gooey. Also some vanilla, marshmallow, café au lait and red grapes.

T: Begins sweet across the tip of the tongue with vanilla, rum raisin and butterscotch. Dark fruits are plentiful in this one with molasses, leather and crisp brown sugar lending a helping hand. Fair amount of lactose milkyness with a caramel twist making this an enjoyable after dinner desert drink. Finishes with creamy crème brulee with toasted hazelnuts and long lingering milk chocolate.

M: Medium body, with a smooth mouthfeel.

D: I wasn’t expecting anything and was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It contained many more dimensions than your run of the mill imperial stout. Good stuff.

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Photo of Vancer
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freakin coal black pour and a pillow top of tan, umm, nice. Massive nose of chocolate malt-shake and look at that head stick to the side of the glass, this starts out with a bang.

Rich and chewy chocoholic glass of beer, just a small but noticeable pop of anise, but a real rib sticker. Plums and dark cherries rear up and command notice, this is a fine ass winter drinker.

Arcadia has just reached the Mo (STL) area, but so far I’m highly impressed.

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Photo of beerphan
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> pint
2005 vintage (printed over the snowbank)

Pours oily black with a small dark brown head that fades to a thin film. Lacing is brown and ringed.

Nose: Currants, molasses, some mild earthy tones.

Rich deep flavors of roasted malt giving port and currant. Very roasty with a little smokiness. Hop presense in minimal, bitterness is low, but rich dark flavors are abundant with some creamy chocolate and burnt coffee tones.

Mouthfeel is thick, slick and creamy.

One good brew that balances out nice, but doesn't crush one over the head. Definately will be returning to this one. Very easy drinking on a cold Feb. night.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

12 ounce bottle, snifter glass.

A - A completely opaque inky black brew with nearly no head whatsoever.

S - Big malty smells. Chocolate, some fruity sweetness. A nice smelling stout.

T - Has a nice smooth flavor. The taste is a bit subdued for a RIS but it's got some great chocolatey malt taste along with some roasty character. The finish leaves a coffee aftertaste.

M - Coats the mouth very nicely, lets you pick up the flavors well.

D - This is a solid RIS that drinks smoothly. Goes down easy and has that nice mouthfeel.

Notes: I got this brew at OakTree on a tip from the beer crew for something like 5 or 6 bucks a four pack. This may be the "steal" beer of the year for me (even though it's early in the year). Glad I went with the recommendation to pick it up.

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Photo of sponberg
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage printed in about 2 point font on a snowdrift on the label. Pours opaque with a solid brown head - looks goood. Aroma of toffee, burnt caramel and toast, a little molasses... wants to be drank, so who am I to argue?

Starts with a dark caramel/toffee middle with a burnt bitterness and overtone - not obtrusive, maybe more of a dark malt thang, faint hints of pininess? A clean mineraliness cuts in about halfway, similar to that in Cadillac Mountain Stout, along with a bit of alcohol coming in. Finishes with a dark caramel and roasted barley flavor along with the mineraliness. Slightly light mouthfeel - chewy, but not big. Could enjoy a few of these.

Not the biggest RIS in the world, but a damned tasty one. Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle :thumbup:

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Photo of karst
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Christie and Vincent for this bottle.

Pours into 0.4L sniffer with brown dense fine beaded head that sustains a thin cap for most of the glass. Aroma of chocolate, coffee and dark roasted malts some background notes of sourness (oak, licorace or just a lot of black patent malt?)
Some warming but little evidence of its high abv very drinkable. Flavors similar to aroma with medium body that would be too thin except for good carbonation. This was a very fresh bottle. When hop bitterness and carbonation drop with aging this would be a different beast. Aside from strong black patent note and being a "milder" example of the Imperial Stout style - a well made stout that was enjoyable drinking.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served into a pint glass from a 12oz. brown long neck bottle with a crimped cap.

Opaque,black poured with a quick mocha head quickly turning into a foam ring with a slight coat of foam. Some tiny bubbles stringing to the surface with some spotty lacing.

Very roasty nose,a bit vinous,clean and pleasing,slight burnt aroma,chocolaty,woody with hints of licorace. A very slight warm alcohol aroma.

Very roasty taste,lots of black coffee,chocolate,sweet carmell maltiness with a good burnt taste.Complex maltiness,well hidden alcohol,just a hint. A great finish that's clean,bittersweet with loads of chocolate notes. A bit faint for an Imperial Stout,but very enjoyable. Lots of tangyness.

Very creamy mouthfeel,again a bit on the light side for an Imperial,but very nice. Juicy is a good description for this beer.
Great drinkability for the style,could drink a few of these no problem. Great tasting beer,a bit mellow compaired to other Imperials i've had,won't hold it against this beer a good solid stout. If you like stouts I would give this beer a try.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tangfoot for this bottle. 2005 release.

Pours a dark black. At first I wanted to decsribe it oily but noticed that it thins out around the edges a bit. Wet lace that drips down into the glass. Nose is toffee and dark licorice.

Flavor is typical of a RIS. Heavy roasted malts balanced with an evergreen hoppiness. Bits of fresh coffee too. Also, getting some candies that are coming out as toffee and licorice. Medium to full body that thickens nicely as the beer warms. Really just a solid all-around example of the style. Definitely better options out there that are easily accessible but still a nice beer.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Thin Chocolate mocha head on a nice black body.Thin lacing that covers a bit of the top.
S- Big chocolate aroma right off bat. Light coffee and roasted malts in there also. Some grass hops can be found too. A light oak aroma also.
T- Chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts all blended together. The coffee comes out a bit more than the rest in the aftertaste. A light bitterness makes its way through and lingers on the tongue in the aftertaste too. The bitterness does grow to close to a medium amount. The chocolate flavor makes its way through more and more as it warms.
M- Medium to thin body (more on thin side). Is a tad watery but still big flavors. Low carbonation.
D- It is a tasty stout. Wish it had a bit bigger body and I think it would make everything come out just that much more. It is tasty though.

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Photo of carln26
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown to black color, and was topped by a thick tan head. The head did not show good retention, but did leave a sheet of lace on the glass. The nose showed promise. Notes of chocolate, espresso, dark berries, and a mild hop citrus. The taste reflects the aroma. More espresso, and dark chocolate. No dark berry character found, but there is a light roast malt note. The mild citrus bitterness, balances the flavor well. Smooth, thick mouth feel. No alcohol heat. This is the beer I've been waiting for from Arcadia.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown pour, with a cocoa head that quickly dissipated. Not a thick pour like you would get with Stone RIS or Bell's Expedition.

Biscuity, fruity aroma.

Very nice flavor. Smooth, malty, bready with a fruitiness to balance. Much more mellow than other RISs I've tried. As it warms, coffee and chocolate flavors develop.

Mouthfeel was difficult to judge. Compared to other RISs, it was quite thin. But, compared to other regular stouts, it was rich and very smooth.

Overall, this was one of the more drinkabler RISs I've had. This would be a good beer to use to transition into the world of big stouts.

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Photo of Gavage
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" tan head that lingers a while. No significant lacing develops.

Smell: dark chocolates, sweet malt, and alcohol are easily picked up by the nose.

Taste: strong dark chocolate tones, roasted malts, and softer espresso tones are the main flavor components. Some molassess, alcohol, and a decent bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: medium in body. Smooth at the start while leaning towards a syrupy finish. This is thinner than expected. Long aftertaste of chocolate and roasted malts.

Drinkability: decent beer but is not a mind blowing RIS. Easy to quaff due to the thinner mouthfeel. Worth trying.

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Photo of ZAP
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark browish black with a reddish hue

S-Molasses....dark cocoa...a little rum like booziness..

T-A flavorfull but lighter style Impy....molasses and rum like booziness are in the front along with a little dark cocoa, and mild notes of black licorice..

M-Agreeable but lighter than the big hitters...creamy, smooth, and very drinkable...just too thin to be considered elite

D-Overall this is a very nice Impy but definitely a good notch below the big boys. Never-the-less this is one of the better Arcadia beers I have had and is a very drinkable Impy....I could drink a six pack of these in one nights...and I don't want to be able to do that with Imperial Stouts..I'm giving this score a 3.5 because I do like this beer but I might be giving it the benefit of the doubt.

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Photo of bort11
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet. Pure black color refuses any light to come through. Dark mocha colored head that recedes to a solid ring around the edge of the glass. Very minor lacing clings to the glass.
Smell is a smooth coffee flavor. Taste builds on the coffee and adds some chocolate blended in.
Mouthfeel is more than medium bodied, but feels a bit light for an RIS.
This is very tasty beer, but not the best RIS I've ever had.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Inky black body, head fades fast into near nothing, just a thin tan film.

Smell: Very chocolatey and bitter, dark chocolate and alcohol. Pungent and apt.

Taste: Rich and bold, drenched in chocolate and sharp alcohol, I think this could use a little more age, it has a fine start.

Drinkability: Not a bad glass of beer, enjoyable actually. Just a little on the raw side.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on January 22, 2005. Ruby fringed black pour. Head of creamy tan. Light chocolate, candy and laundry detergent. Sharp figs and roasted pork in mole, with candied figs and light buttered toast. Sharp and piquant, with a hint of peppers and eggs. Roasted sourness is a little unsettling. Finish is oaky dry. Not amazing, but drinkable.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.39/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark brwon with a tad less then one finger of frothy brown head. Decent amount of scattered speck of lacing.

S - Very faint. A touch of molasses. Extremely faint notes of chocolate and coffee. Strong alcohol.

T - A bit of coffee, molasses and alcohol along with some general "dark" flavor that has a bit of a sour chemical taste. The aftertaste is of cheap coffee - maybe with a bit of lemon rind in it. Alcohol throughout.

M - Smooth, thin, only a little refreshing.

D - Alright. I don't think I will have this again. It's taste is too high in abv and chemical flavors to really be enjoyable. But the non-convention chemical flavors aren't too terrible mix really. The alcohol just dominates throughout. Okay for food. Not sessionable.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Releases a light brown head of ample height and light brown color amidst a black/deep brown beer hue. Leaves a generous amount of lacing withstanding well. A lightly tart yet creamy aroma of tart wine grapes and black strap molasses and coffee caress the nose. The taste was all right but a little tarter than I would like. The saving grace is the creamy finish bringing out a more heavy milk feel to this strobng brew. Thick, almost sinewy palate. Finishes very well. Cleans a little too, and not too cloying.

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Photo of xav33
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Arcadia Imperial Stout
12 oz bottle
Bottled winter '05 (6 pk), basked in its glory 10/06
Medium pour in an English pint

Poured black with a large creamy somewhat lasting light brown head with a small ring of lacing.

Smelt strongly of burnt molasses and roasted coffee, some fainter dark chocolates and dark berries, kinda jammy.

Taste was upfront moderate dark chocolate with a tinge of sweet fruity esters, some faint sour banana and apple, followed by a strong bitter burnt smokey taste with some creamy feel and light grassy hops on the average to long finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, creamy, velvety, caressing, softly carbonated, lightly astringent.

Overall, almost perfect. The finish could use a bit more length, and the flavor could be amped up just a bit. As this is a year old brew, these factors could have died down a bit, for a year old imperial stout, this one is as close to perfect as I've yet to have. Bonus mystery sludge at the bottom too!

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Arcadia Imperial Stout from Arcadia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 65.2% out of 100 with 466 ratings
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