Arcadia Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

| No TrackBacks
I have been a fan of barrel aged stouts since my first sampling of Kentucky Breakfast Stout, back when it was really amazing. Lately I had got the inkling, that I wanted to try a few of the overly popular ones that I had not tried yet, such as FW Parabola, Avery Mephistopheles, and to a lesser extent, Bell's Black Note. I was very pleased with Parabola, Mephistopheles was not really what I had expected, and Black Note greatly exceeded my expectations. I also picked up some Abyss to age, and discovered that Dark Horse Barrel Aged Plead the 5th was bottled.

Back in the early 2000's when I moved to Michigan, Arcadia was a very questionable brewery. Their ales varied from mediocre, to just plain crap in my opinion. I had placed them on my black list until I tried Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter, just an amazing barrel aged selection. I had been considering striking them off my blacklist due to their massive improvement over the last decade.

Barrel_Aged_Arcadia_Imp_Stout.jpgIn addition to trying a few new barrel aged stouts in December I have to admit that I had boarded the barrel aged stout hype train, and I was trading for the likes of Black Tuesday, Darkness, 50/50 Eclipse, and Speedway Stout. So when I saw that Arcadia had released barrel aged versions of their barley wine Cereal Killer, and their Imperial Stout all dressed up in red wax at $8.00 dollars a bottle, it seemed like a steal. It should be noted at this point that when you find yourself buying and trading for 12oz bottles of bourbon aged beer that exceeds the price of a fifth of bourbon, you have just jumped the tracks aboard the nutty beer hype train.

Anyhow.. I had only one bottle and was desperately interested in getting my hands on another, which I did today. Two in fact. Apparently some guy from Chicago had bought an entire case of it. Well guy from Chicago, I hope you learned your lesson about buying an entire case of beer before you try it. I am now stuck with two bottles of this stuff and that is embarrassing enough. So on to the review.

It pours a dark caramel with minimal head. The aroma is coffee, oak, and barbeque. Somewhat unique in the barrel aged stout world with the strong barbeque aroma. The first word that came to mind was disappointing. It has a light body for an Imperial Stout, a sweet syrupy barbequed oak flavor, and chocolate notes. No dark fruits to speak of, no viscous body, no head retention. I really feel that Arcadia pulled a fast one here. Using the reputation of their great barrel aged porter they dressed up their mediocre barrel aged stout and sold it for the price of a Sierra Nevada six pack. This stout is decent, not great, but decent. It improves as it warms and never becomes remotely impressive. For a dollar or two a bottle this would be a truly awesome beer. But when it is 1/3 more than Bell's Black Note or Dark Horse Plead the 5th it simply serves to ensure that Arcadia stays on my black list for at least ten more years. Good job Arcadia.

In the end perhaps I should thank Arcadia for just announcing 'next stop sanity' for this hype train rider. It was fun while it lasted but by wallet and palate just decided this is the end of the line for this rider.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


The Brewmaster


Supporting Advertisers

The Real Deal

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brewmaster published on January 18, 2013 10:26 PM.

Bells Black Note was the previous entry in this blog.

North Coast - Barrel Aged Old Rasputin XV is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.