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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love - Arbor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arbor Brewing Espresso LoveArbor Brewing Espresso Love

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

164 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 20.43%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: goodbyeohio on 09-02-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 81
Reviews by n0315:
Photo of n0315
2.2/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pours pitch lack with no head, just a light lace, with nearly no carbonation, even for a stout. Smells of coffee and chocolate with a bit of a strong smell. I think I just got a bad one, becuase the taste was god awful and the mouthfeel was garbage. The worst stout I have ever had.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #59 (December 2011):

LOOK: Black, dissipating head

SMELL: Coffee syrup, dark chocolate, ripe dark fruit, toasted dark bread

TASTE: Smooth, slick, fresh coffee, dry, husky, toasted bread crust, mild twang, hint of charcoal, dried dark fruit, warming alcohol

Coffee, our other vice, ends up being more than decent addition here … as in, 20 pounds of freshly roasted coffee, plus some oatmeal; there’s the breakfast for ya. A bit raw, but not overly so. Could we wake up in the AM with a mug of this? Sure.

Photo of schnjac
3.7/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single bottle along with a Point St. Benedict's Winter Ale. Pours dark with a dissipating head and smells of nuts, chocolate, fruit, and toast. The taste is smooth, and the flavor is bready, nutty. Tastes mildly of fruit and oatmeal... An initial licorice taste succumbs to a smooth and rich coffee bean flavor. A nice breakfast stout to enjoy around the holidays

Photo of Beaver13
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a creamy light tan head (after a vigorous pour) that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet fudgy chocolate and coffee that are strong enough to hide some off-notes that seem to be hiding.

The flavor is sweet fudgy chocolate and some oatmeal and nuts followed by an acidic stale coffee. The mouthfeel is thin and watery with little carbonation.

Overall, it's not very complex and does have some flaws but is still enjoyable.

Photo of Brenden
3.39/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not thick or heavy-looking but very dark brown, this stout has a solid brown head with sparse bubbling that tightens as it compacts to foam and leaves spotty lacing.
Coffee grounds and cocoa powder takes precedence in a mildly roasty malts backbone, and a sweet and thick whiff of baked brownie comes in at the end.
The coffee is in the flavor but the sweetness that made the aroma so nice is buried underneath char and tang. These aren't overbearing, but they do take charge over the better flavors. Roast goes into a not-unpleasant ashy finish.
The body is lighter and spritzier than desired. Some smoothness comes out as the spritz eases down. The end of every sip is slightly thin. Overall, it works, but if this stout had more depth and richness, it would be better.

Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a half-pint pour on a Monday afternoon and I'm pretty happy with this the choice. It's got a big espresso aroma and flavor, and while it dominates the beer, it tastes like about the best coffee or espresso I've had. There's a subtle and mellow chocolate note running through the background. And the body is a medium, not too chewy that drink velvety smooth. This ranks right up there with Surly's Coffee Bender for me.

Photo of Shumista
2.4/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I like to buy singles of Arbor Brewing's beers when I can because I usually don't like to take the risk of buying a whole six pack from them of something I have not tried before. Espresso Love is an excellent example of why I got into this habit.

A- Espresso Loves pours deep dark brown with a medium brown head that is fizzing a lot for a stout. When you hold it up to the light you can see that little light brown floaties have settled to the bottom.
S- The aroma isn't so bad. Roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate.
T- This is where things really start to take a turn for the worst. It starts off as an alright roasted coffee taste, but then turns straight sour making for a very unpleasant finish and aftertaste.
M- Very highly carbonated for a stout. I don't get the slick mouthfeel that I expect from an oatmeal stout.
D- Not existent, I don't think I'm going to finish this one.

my bottom line: I've had small letdowns from Arbor Brewing a few times but this is the first of their beers that has been a huge disappointment for me. Not recommended and certainly not something I will buy again. Steer clear of this one.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.42/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 Oz Bottle (Thanks Sean!). Boasting granular coffee aroma, combated with chocolate nibs and faint smoked salt. Rich and chewy nose. Pours a deep black brown pour, with rim of tan. Flavor moves into a slightly harsher coffee flavor then muddles in a bit of mud and caramel. Body tends thin and slightly sour, but not unpleasantly. Chocolate oils settle in and the coffee rests quietly. One of the cleaner regular beers I've had from Arbor.

Photo of morimech
3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with one inch of head that slowly settled to a thin skim of suds. Not much lacing is left on the glass.

Starts off with a rich coffee aroma. But as time passes the aroma sort of dies off. Not much of an aroma after the initial blast. Faint hint of spice.

Has some nice coffee flavor but this beer does not back up its stout claim. Tastes more of a brown ale with a little nuttiness and no roasted malt.

Classified as an oatmeal stout but lacks the wonderful mouthfeel of one. Thin and watery. Not stout strength.

Beer started out strong right out of the gate, but the scores quickly lowered as I got deeper into this beer.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is proper stouty black, but the head left town extremely quickly, and there isn't even lacing left to show for it. The aroma is faintly coffee-ish and roasted, but not at the level I would expect for a stout.

The flavour starts off with a coffee twang and a milky sweet edge. Roasted tones show up in the back half, present albeit slightly subdued. The coffee tones stay present throughout. A light roasted nod on the finale. Good stuff, the coffee flavour is apparent throughout, but it doesn't make the beer abrasive. The milk flavour is borderline, I thought it was fine most of the sips, but it also had a bit of an off edge to it, not enough to really hurt the beer, but occasionally noticeable.

The mouth on this is light, albeit about average for an oatmeal. The drinkability also average. Java based beers tend to be a touch abrasive and difficult to drink very many of, and I imagine this would also fall into that category.

The bottom line: The initial impressions of this beer were not impressive, but the taste is pretty interesting and solid, particularly given the low ABV of this beer. I would like to try this on tap if I run into it (or stop by Arbor itself, though I doubt I'll ever go there in lieu of Ashley's...but I digress) but I probably wouldn't rebuy it in bottle form.

Photo of emerge077
2.92/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought 2 bottles of this at Siciliano's, the other one was undrinkable.

Pours with a tan head with loose bubbles. They fade down to a bare skim.

Some decent coffee grounds in the aroma, but nothing close to espresso. Tobacco leaf if you really try hard.

Very light feel with astringent bitterness and nothing else. This wouldn't even pass as a porter. Tart with an earthy remnant of coffee bitterness. Nothing redeemable about this.

Photo of BierFan
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Black body with a very light tan head. The head didn't last for long.

Smell: Roasty smooth coffee aroma. It has a sour smell to it.

Taste: More roasted coffee in the taste. Dark chocolate is most noticeable in the taste as you're swallowing. This is a lot more like a milk stout than an oatmeal stout, as BA labels it as.

Photo of Harfatum
4.22/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a mix-n-match pack from the ABC's restaurant (which was very good; try the spinach pie!)

A: Looks great - one finger of foam up top in my Duvel tulip, very dark. A few bubbles clinging to to the side.
S: Super chocolatey, with strong coffee notes. Very appealing.
T: Great! The moderate carbonation livens up a heavy drink. Not too bitter, and loads of chocolate and coffee. This really reminds me of biting into a nice 70% cocoa chocolate bar. This is great with anything that would go with coffee - I tried it with graham crackers my first time and it went surprisingly well together.
M: Robust, a bit thick but that's good here.
D: For a deep, dark stout, this is very very drinkable. Less bitterness than many stouts. The moderately high alcohol content is very well hidden.

Overall I really enjoy this beer. I don't know what the reviews citing an "off taste" are going on about; this is chocolate and coffee for days, and nothing objectionable as far as I can tell. Recommended.

Photo of Bierguy5
2.77/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle. Pours a very dark brown color, with a lot of sediment. Thick tan head has many specks of said sediment. Great heat retention. Nice patches of lace in the ned.

A nice espresso note up front in the nose, followed by some milk chocolate, cream, and caramel. A slight fruity note. Pretty nice aroma.

Things now go downhill in a hurry. The malt character is not supporting the wondeful aroma. A bit of roasty and chocolate malt, but not depth at all. A harsh astringency, and odd sweetness follows, which is rather unpleasant.

Very thin body, with too much carbonation. The astringency lingers on the palate for a long time. A bit of warming as well. The nose was great, but the flavor really leaves something to be desired.

Photo of genuinedisciple
2.54/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours as I thought it would, not black, but more of a deep brown. There is almost no foam, absolutely no lacing, and you can't tell that you even drank any beer cause the glass stays clean the whole way through.

S: You can smell the malts, but the coffee scent is not as strong as I thought it would be.

T: Maybe I got a bad one (doubtful), but I don't taste much sweetness. I suppose there is a bit of a sweet finish, but it's more of a bitter taste in the begin and middle (much like drinking coffee). It has a "homebrew taste" to it.

M: It changes throughout, but it is very light and leaves a boring/mundane aftertaste at best.

*I've had plenty of other beers that would fall into this category, and this may be one of my least favorite.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.55/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Espresso Love a couple days ago for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. The only other beer I have had From Arbor Brewing Company was Brasserie Blonde, and I was pretty disappointed in that beer so I hope I have a much better experience with this one. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, it looks like it could be a sign for a hippie coffee shop in Ann Arbor. It poured a pitch black color that didn't let any light come though. It had two fingers worth of fluffy tan head that quickly disappeared. Once the head dissipated it looked just like coffee.

S- The aroma of this beer is pretty one dimensional. It smells like straight up black coffee, nothing more and nothing less. I get more straight up black bitter coffee aroma then espresso aroma.

T- Just like the aroma the flavor is all about the coffee and it completely dominates this brew as I would expect from a beer called Espresso Love. At first the flavor is full of dark roasted bitter black coffee, but at the end I pick up some caramel and vanilla flavors that give it an espresso like after taste. Alcohol wasn't evident.

M- A little smooth and creamy. It was medium bodied but still felt a little watery. Carbonation was pretty low and unimpressive, it needed about twice as much carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a good beer, but I don't think it comes close to hanging with the big dogs like Founders Breakfast Stout. They pretty much both have the same purpose of being a coffee tasting breakfast stout, but Espresso Love seemed to be a little more one dimensional. The flavors were pretty good and what I would expect but I would of liked more espresso flavors then just a glimpse of them on the aftertaste. I also wasn't impressed with the mouthfeel, it shouldn't have felt watery and should have had much more carbonation. This beer is much more available to me then all the other coffee beers I like so I could see picking this up again when I am in the mood for a coffee beer and none of my favorites are around or in season. If your a coffee beer lover then you should give it a try but its nothing to go out of the way for. This was the best beer I have had from Arbor Brewing Company, after trying their blonde I was a little hesitant to give them another chance but this beer turned out to be Ok.

Photo of zoso1967
2.91/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Espresso Love “Breakfast Stout” (no doubt trying to cash in on another MI brewery’s fine product) pours a very murky looking dark brown that resembles a cloudy brown ale more than a stout. There is no head to speak of and it looks to be a bit on the flat side. The slight traces of foam on the top of the liquid are a medium tan in color. Surprisingly, this beer does leave some mediocre lace as I drink it.

The aroma is a definite improvement over the appearance. It smells of dark roast coffee, chocolate and a dash of caramel. The more I sniff it, the more I am impressed at the mocha notes I am picking up.

The coffee plays a bit more of a dominant role in the flavor, with that rich chocolaty character pushed much farther back. I would say that the flavor is fairly one dimensional and the brew comes across mainly as a slightly carbonated cold coffee with some malty beer like character.

The mouthfeel is pretty unimpressive. Medium bodied with a weak carbonation that leads to a slightly fizzy and acidic finish. Astringent coffee is the main aftertaste.

This is a pretty weak offering and possibly the worst coffee beer I have had. While I did find some things to enjoy in this brew, it is not one that I will be rushing out to purchase anytime soon. I will stick to FBS thank you very much.

Photo of papat444
2.52/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Pours an almost pitch black body that looks actually more reddish when held to the light. Barely a finger of brownish head which vanishes in under 30 seconds.

Smell: Cold coffee but not in a bad way. Like a fresh pot that's cold. A bit of cocoa maybe.

Taste: Not much going on here unfortunately. Coffee beans upfront and a bit of sweetness on the tail end.

Mouthfeel: Next to no carbonation and kind of thin for the style and ABV.

Drinkability: Had less than half a glass before i got bored with it.

Overall: Uninspiring and bland. The near absence of carbonation and the lack of any real flavor kill this beer.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
1.67/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Bottle picked up on my recent trip to Michigan. I love espresso, so this should be nice!
Pours a translucent brown in color with no head showing on the pour. Smell is slight coffee and chocolate. Only slight.
Taste is way too sweet. Lactic or maybe infected. Barely enough carbonation to notice. Mouthfeel is thin and unimpressive.

Photo of Roke87
3.29/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours a murky dark brownish black colour with almost no light penetrating this one, even on the edges. Average pour yields a miniscule pinkie finger of tan mocha head that very quickly dissipates to a thin ring around the glass, leaving almost no lacing throughout till finish. I can also see lots of little bubbles at the top, it does look well carbonated; at first anyways, once it warmed up a little more they almost disappeared.

Smell- Lots of bitter coffee notes really dominate the nose from the start, I do get some nice sweet caramel aromas as well as a tiny little bit of roasted malt in there as well, but the espresso smells really take over from the start and don’t let go.

Taste- Very similar to the smell, the palate is dominated by that coffee flavour that never really wants to let go and let in other flavours. Although I do get some hints of roasted malts, less on the sweet caramel flavours, and a bit if chocolaty cocoa in there as well. Finishes with a weird aftertaste, and almost watery especially for something called a “breakfast stout”.

Mouthfeel- Very light bodied for a stout, almost watery if you will, upon looking at it after I poured it I thought this would have good carbonation but that was not the case once I got around to the tasting portion.

Overall- Not too sure what to think of this one, the pour looked promising at first but quickly turned into a weird murky brownish black hole, and again the carbonation looked good and almost completely disappeared once it warmed up a little more. The smells came through kind of promising again, I didn’t think the smells were all too bad to be honest; but once it got around to the tasting it completely went downhill. A watery mess that never really comes through on anything but the coffee, not to mention it leaves such a weird aftertaste in my mouth, I just can’t put my finger on what it is, but it is almost off putting. Not to mention when finished there was this weird looking sediment in the bottle of the glass. I think I overpayed for this one and would not return to it again in the future.

Photo of GbVDave
1.67/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

A: Pours a dark, night-sky black. Small khaki-colored head that goes away rather fast, leaving no lace.

S: Coffee and chocolate that's steamrolled by an extremely off-putting buttery aroma that couldn't be more out of place.

T: Once again, there are slight espresso and chocolate flavors that are obliterated by that buttery nastiness. It wants to be bittersweet and creamy but a pervasive tart/tangy fruit flavor comes in and wrecks everything. Ick.

M: Very thin and, sadly, not inspiring at all. Cringe inducing combination of tart and buttery.

D: This was damn near awful. I have a feeling, judging by the early reviews, that this bottle was from an extremely substandard batch that slipped by QC. This was drainpour.

Photo of uno99
1.89/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Never been impressed with arbor brewing but here goes...

A: looks like a stout. black witha slightly off white head. head is foamy and light, not dense like I like to see in a stout however.

S: Whoah... bad. as you'll read in the reviews below mine, there is a sourness to this beer that is just wrong..

T: Very bad. Sour, maybe some coffee and vanilla notes but im too put off by all the other off flavors

M: kind of thin for a stout. a little too much carbonation for the style as well

D: well - normally Id sip this to atleast get a buzz from it, but since I have to leave in 20 minutes I think im gonna pour it out.

Avoid!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.27/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Acquired from raznug, courtesy of the Under 100 III BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with almost no head and what little is there fades almost instantly and leaves no lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, black coffee, some chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of roasted coffee beans and milk chocolate. Then bready flavors from oats and a hearty malt character come in. The hops presence is mild but about where it should be for the style and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little smooth and a little crisp, medium body but a bit watery, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, there are several other beers in the style that I would choose before this one.

Photo of soupyman10
4.42/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No real head, pours a pure black color with the tiniest of all brown highlights. Light film of tan over top of the beer. NOse is crazy roasted malt and coffee with some sweet molasses thrown in too. Taste is similar - crazy coffee malt, some roasted malt, a touch of light sourness. Some light malt bitterness. Light bacon. Crazy strong mocha coffee sweetness. Medium body, maybe a touch lighter than expected, but solid. I really liked this one. An excellent dessert beer.

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours jet black with a two finger bubbly mocha head. Leaves no lacing.

S - Slight java, roasted malt, slight coffee grains, some slight smoke, and that's about it. Not a very big nose for a breakfast stout.

T - Bitter medium coffee up front, roasted malt in the middle, slight smoke in the finish and the coffee taste seems to darken as the beer sits.

M - Light bodied with extremely low carbonation. Perfection in my opinion.

O - Overall, this is a very solid beer, although a bit lacking in the flavor and smell department.

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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love from Arbor Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.