Thursday, February 16, 2012

Arcadia Brewing Company Big Dick’s Olde Ale

Don’t let the junior high humor of the beer name fool you – Big Dick’s Olde Ale is no joke! It’s the latest in a long line of Michigan beers to hold an honored position on my fridge’s beer shelf, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I like to drink this time of the year. An olde ale in the classic English style, but in a lot of ways reminiscent of a Belgian, Big Dick’s is impossibly smooth for a beer that’s nine percent alcohol. Like any good olde ale, it’s full-on, over-the-top malty with a nice influx of boozy flavor. But overall, it’s also one of the most nicely balanced olde ales I’ve had. Caramel, brown sugar, and dark fruit notes mix for a pleasantly prevailing sweetness, while a mild hop bitterness and a substantial alcoholic bite add nice touches of complexity. By all means, this is a big beer. But it’s not a scary kind of big. It’s an easy-drinking ale – almost too easy drinking considering the ABV! I’ve had a few olde ales in my day, and this one is in the B+/A- range for the style. If you’re not quite ready for a barleywine but want to try something like a barleywine, give Big Dick’s a chance.

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