28 April 2010

Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale

Arcadia Big Dick's Olde Ale (bottle)
Battle Creek, MI
9% ABV

Pours orange-red with a very thick brownish white head. Head is foamy, like a root beer float, and sticks around significantly, leaving some lacing. Aroma is very sweet, almost syrupy at first, almost fruity, but with a strong bready malt backbone that keeps it from being too cloying. Slight hints of yeast.

Taste is similar to aroma, with a strong sweet fruitiness masking a bready malt middle and a dry, almost bitter finish. Aftertaste is clean but slightly drying. The alcohol is very well-hidden, likely by the sugary sweetness. Mouthfeel is moderate-to-thick, with a low carbonation and a very mild hop bite.

Overall I like this beer more in toto than the summary above would indicate. I would generally consider an Old Ale that's this sweet to be at least moderately flawed, but in this beer it somehow works with the dryness to give what is to my palate a very pleasing overall experience. Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself -- I contain multitudes.

My overall BA rating: 3.85/5

(Note: BeerAdvocate calls this an American Strong Ale, but I'm going by what those who made the beer and gave it a name clearly intended for it to be. Old Ale is such a broad style that the characteristics between it and an American Strong are too minuscule to be noticed, anyway.)

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