Anderson Valley ‘Huge Arker’ BA Imperial Stout


“True to its Boontling moniker, “Huge Arker” is a massive force of nature that detonates on your tongue. After primary fermentation, the beer is aged in Wild Turkey® Bourbon barrels until it fully matures.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of creamy tan foam resting atop. The head lasts and draws a fine lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: It’s weird right now coz it seems like all we can smell is the bourbon. Fortunately the longer it sits in the glass the more it pans out…allowing the oak and what we feel could be a slightly feeble Stout base to come forward. We may end up eating our words here because it has finally come together and it’s smelling like a fine BBA Imperial Stout now.

Flavour: One step forward two steps back. Upfront it’s very big and abrasive. The booze is sharp (hell we only just realised this is a 15.5% monster) and we feel it needs something to smooth it all out. The bourbon/barrels are actually nicely positioned in the beer plus the sturdy malt base offers a lot of good roasty support. The finish is as rough as guys and slightly bitter too…just to add to the woes.

Mouthfeel: Prickly, astringent and overrepresented by the booze. Medium-full body, Co2 is kept low. We actually fear every sip haha.

Overall: Yeah, nah. Seriously why do they land on 15.5% ABV when it clearly can’t carry it? There’s no doubt that they need to shave off at least 5 to 6% for this to be enjoyable. If they’re going to keep it at that level they need to look to Goose Island for some tips.