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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love | Arbor Brewing Company

82 Reviews
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Arbor Brewing Espresso LoveArbor Brewing Espresso Love

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by goodbyeohio on 09-02-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 170
Photo of wqcherri
4.84/5  rDev +52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my absolute favorite. Got me turned on to beer. Love the coffee flavor... If you don't pour it directly it will fizz eternally... Great taste and aroma, from a coffee lovers standpoint. Lots of sediment. Very difficult to get out side of Michigan though.

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Photo of jeremyd365
4.72/5  rDev +48.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured very dark with a thick head that took several minutes to settle down.

It smelled delightfully strongly of espresso/coffee and chocolate.

It felt thick and syrupy in the mouth, and tasted as strong as it smelled.

For being such a thick, heavy beer, I was surprised how drinkable it actually was.

A definite buy.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.42/5  rDev +39.4%
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.

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Photo of tallmidget
4.3/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gripped a 12 oz of this out of a bathtub during Penguicon 6.0. I had been drinking a lot of Rochester Mills Rochester Red and Founders Dirty Bastard (Both on tap) along with other bottled microbrews during Penguicon and as a result this brew was extremely refreshing, intense chocolate and coffee flavors. Great taste, great mouthfeel, a great beer if you're looking for a departure from your typical brews.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.24/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark as dark can be with little interference, not even a smidgen from the lurkers who seek to destroy you and your omnipresent overlording.

first sniff evokes the most creamiest, coffeeist, deliciousist mocha flavors that i've ever experienced.at this point, this beer is in the running, neck-n-neck with peche mortel, to establish a true champion. seriously, smell this beer, and name a coffee (with this aroma) that you'd rather be drinking.smooth body and flows effortlessly over the palate, unlike other bitter presences.

i thought so!

let's move fwd....

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Photo of Harfatum
4.22/5  rDev +33.1%
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.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.17/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

$1.90 for a 12oz bottle at Jack's. Opening the cap reveals barely more than a psst...hardly any carbonation. Pours to a limp deep brown, nearly black. No head, no lacing, no carbonation. The aroma is great...lots of black walnut and sweet vanilla, a hint of coffee when swirled. Mouthfeel is limp with a medium body. The taste is quite nice and recaptures the nose. There is quite a bit of chalkiness, but I like it. Wierd green leafy MJ note in there from the hops. Very mild bitterness, barely any to speak of. The espresso isn't really dominant, and I would barely notice it if it weren't called "Espresso Love". There is a distant kiwi fruit flavor in there, so it will probably turn into battery acid with any shelving... like the other Arbor Brewing beers I've had.

Nice balance with a little bit of all the flavors able to emerge, but certainly not a powerhouse stout compared to others in the category. Rated as is...flat.

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +30%
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.

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Photo of bamadog
4.06/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I received this as an extra a few months back, but sadly can't remember who threw it in the box. Whoever you may have been, thanks for the beer! Review is from notes taken on 7/27/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a deep dark dirty brown/near black and looks about the color of used motor oil (mind you, it doesn't look as thick as used motor oil, though); despite a vigorous pour, no head whatsoever; body is entirely opaque and based upon no head, I'd say it looks pretty flat; no lacing, just an oily film that quickly slides back into the beer.

Smell: Pretty nice, and quite strong -- nice strong and roasty burnt expresso; dark semi-sweet syrupy chocolate; a bit of dark cherry and lactic sourness as it continues to warm... I'm intrigued...

Taste: Starts of pretty plain and standard with the nice espresso roastiness (nothing special right of the first sip though); however, the syrupy chocolate and dark cherries and a certain sourness (could be a bit of sour cherries, but it strikes me as more of a lactic sourness) creeps in and really, in my opinion, brightens the beer's profile quite nicely.

Mouthfeel: Sigh... never as thick as I would like, but the body is of medium weight; no carbonation, so it feels very flat, oily and slick; a moderate and semi-moist stickiness is left all over the palate.

Drinkability: Not too shabby overall, especially if I really consider the smell and flavors; it does need some head and carbonation though, and damn it, I really want a thicker stout; while my numbers are kind of all over the place on this, I do believe it's worth checking out.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.04/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black coffee black with a miniscule caramel colored head in spite of an increasingly elevated pour. I hope there's nothing wrong with the carbonation because this sucker smells fantastic. The bubbly foam doesn't last and isn't interested in gracing the glass with more than a token amount of lace. In a minute or so, the beer should resemble a pint glass of coffee.

I've always been puzzled by the fact that I love the smell of coffee beer even though I don't like and don't drink coffee. Odd that. The nose is tremendous, especially if you're a dedicated java hound. Underneath the freshly-brewed goodness are appealing aromas of vanilla and creme caramel. Could Espresso Love possibly taste as good as it smells?

Not quite, but it's close. For starters, the mouthfeel isn't as full as it needs to be, considering the style and the ABV. Perhaps I'm just spoiled by the fact that many versions (like Founders Breakfast Stout) are huger than huge. I have a feeling that things will come together as the beer approaches room temperature.

The flavor profile is essentially a carbon copy of the aroma. In fact, if anything, it's even more crushed coffee-bean dominant. The sweetness of the malt (and the milk sugars?) are easily countered by the bitterness of the hops and the roasted malt. The finish favors dry and clean over sticky. I don't yet have a caffeine buzz, but I wouldn't be surprised if one hits in the final few ounces.

The mouthfeel makes something of a comeback, but it still isn't what it could be. I'm a little picky when it comes to stouts, so take my impressions with a grain of salt. The mild creaminess, the oatmeal softness and the subdued carbonation keeps things well above average.

Is there no end to the number of good-great breweries in the state of Michigan? If this beer is any indication of what Arbor Brewing is capable of, it's a crime that one has to travel to Ann Arbor to acquire it (I didn't see it in Grand Rapids). While it can't touch Founders Breakfast Stout, Espresso Love is damn good beer in its own right and is an easy recommendation for those traveling into enemy territory.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.87/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- A conservative pour led to a dense, 2-1/2 finger, brown head. The body was nearly black with dark brown accents at the edges. The head eventually fell to about a half-finger and left good sticky rings on the glass.

S- The main scent I picked up was a pleasant coffee with some brown sugar in the background.

T- It's a pretty decent combination of a traditional oatmeal stout with coffee accents. The coffee wasn't overdone as is sometimes the case.

M- It was a little thinner and more highly carbonated than expected. The stronger carbonation provided a bit of a tingle.

D- It was a good drinker whether looking at it as an oatmeal stout or comparing it to other coffee style beers. I'm not going to rush out to get a case of it, but I'd drink this beer again as a nice brunch sipper or a tailgate beer where daytime drinking is taking place.

It was an overall pleasant surprise. ABC can be pretty hit or miss with my tastes. This was a hit.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.85/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A super dark brown color pour with a huge lasting tan head , some light spotty lacing left , medium carbonation. Aroma of coffee,dark roasted malt, and sweet dark chocolate. Flavor is a nice balance of malt ,strong coffee,and bittersweet chocolate , no apparent hop flavors. Medium to full body , creamy mouthfeel with a light bitter coffee/chocolate finish , very drinkable and something I would buy again , better than expected .

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.77/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black to cola brown, some sediment at the bottom of the bottle, a quick covering of caramel colored head quickly fades away. Aroma is nice roasty and slightly nutty coffee mixing with a caramel and chocolate sweetness, hints of maple syrup. Taste is overwhelmed by a twangy acidity with brief moments that show some cola sweetness and a smoky roastiness. Mouthfeel is medium, very low carbonation leaves a somewhat slick feeling, hint of dryness in the finish. A good breakfast stout, the aroma was fantastic, but the taste was not as complex. The twanginess was masking most flavor, it wasn't offensive in itself, just overpowering. I tried a few bites of haagen-dazs bailey's irish creme ice cream with it and found the combo to be perfect, may do this with my other bottles.

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Photo of strohme2
3.75/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one with a khaki colored decent head that lasted for a moment. Nice color, what you would expect from a stout.

Now I really like the smell of coffee but am not so big on the taste. This stout reminds me of the coffee aisle at you local grocery store. Strong coffee smell with a hint of a semi sweet or bitter chocolate.

Tastes like it smells! Strong coffee and mild chocolate tastes. A little poor on the mouthfeel tho. Feels thin.

I could have a few of these on any night.

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Photo of tpd975
3.75/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on one of many trips to the hop devil in NYC.

A: Pours a deep dark black with a big foamy khaki head. As the contents disappear there was no lace, but tinges of an oily film was left behind.

S: Big bold fresh roased coffee aromas rise from the tulip. There is a nice chocolate quality to this one along with a bit of nuts.

T: Nice coffee flavors. There is a touch of milk in this one and some chocolate. It is mostly about the coffee though.

M: Rather sooth and somewhat creamy with ample carbonation.

D: Not bad, I could enjoy several glasses on a cold NYC winter evening.

Overall: Pretty good brew, does not rank up there with Bell's Java or Peche Mortel, but what does. It is a rather good oatmeal stout with big coffee flavors and aromas. I say job well done. It peaked my interest enough to want to try more beers from this brewer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.74/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at the brewery in Ann Arbor, the beer is a dark, brownish-black coloring with a filmy, clingy, off-white head. Nose of darkly roasted coffee, hints of cocoa nib, and smoky highlights. Flavors are cream and chestnut sweet forward, with a solid backbone of bitter roasted coffee. Smooth, full bodied, with a richly sweet and heavily roasted coffee aftertaste. Smooth, creamy finish. Good beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.74/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle gifted by Adam. Far out.

The beer is near black with a thin beige cap that quickly fades to a thin layer. Aromas of espresso, coffee beans, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits. Nice flavor. Not in the upper tier of its class, but still enjoyable. The body is a tad thin. Strong coffee presence. Light bitterness in the finish. Overall, pretty good.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle picked up on a recent trip to Grand Rapids, MI.

Pours a very dark brown color with minimal carbonation and tan-colored head. Some lacing along the sides of the tulip glass I used.

Incredible roasty, espresso aroma. Boldest, freshest coffee bean aroma in a beer that I have experienced. Some hints of chocolate are present as well.

Flavor was less impressive, consisting of sweet malt, lighter coffee and roasted barley notes, a slight hint of hops and a dry, slightly bitter finish. I also noticed a bit of sourness in the the beer, and this seemed more present as I went on. Maybe I just became more attuned to it.

Surprisingly thin and watery feeling mouthfeel. Drinkability also suffered for me due to this and the sour taste.

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Photo of schnjac
3.7/5  rDev +16.7%
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

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Photo of Ohiovania
3.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell is great. stout-goodness with coffee.

The mouth feel is pretty on par. I would like a little more viscosity on it I guess.

The taste leaves something to be desired. i want more coffee I think and a little more from the stout as well.

I would drink this one again if I could. This beer is actually pretty huge for only being a standard american stout.

Well done ABC.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a small dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toasted dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toasted dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toasted dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice coffee stout. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of shivtim
3.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewpub in December, 2009. Listed at 7%.

Murky dark brown black, thick like a suspension or emulsion. No real head. Good and bad points, but deserves a 4. Could easily be a 5 if it had a nice head and some carbonation.

Nose is toasty malts, and very mild coffee beans. Not really getting the espresso. Same on the taste. Very mild coffee-ish flavor, but more dominated by gently roasted malts. Some brown sugar sweet flavors. Nice mouthfeel. Slightly milky and thick. Good drinkability.

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Photo of MIMicrobrews
3.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon opening, you don't get a large sense of coffee. As I poured it, the glass filled with thick, opaque black liquid with little head and zero retention. The aroma, surprisingly enough, didn't exude a ton of coffee. I sensed more roasted malts and chocolate. While it may not be coffee, it still smelled delicious. My first sip exploded with amazing coffee flavor. It was delicious, creamy, wonderfully blended. It was just the right amount; clearly coffee flavored, but not too much where it was overkill. Some coffee stouts/breakfast stouts have too much coffee flavor and it kills the beer (in my opinion), here this brew has excellent consumption quality and includes a nice complexity of chocolate and roasted malt flavors as well. The aftertaste was a nice mix of chocolate and coffee. It lingers a little bitter for a small amount of time, but it's a pleasant bitter with a smoothness to it that leaves me wanting another sip right away.

Overall, it's a very tasty brew. I mean, I do love coffee and I do love a good stout. This is a very nice mix and is quite a pleasure to enjoy. It's not as bold as some other coffee stouts, but it seems to me to the type of beer I can rely on when I need a reliable coffee brew.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.55/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3.53/5  rDev +11.4%
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
74 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.