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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love | Arbor Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
75
okay
84 Reviews
THE BROS
79
okay
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
173
Avg:
3.19
pDev:
30.41%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
12
For Trade:
1
Arbor Brewing Espresso LoveArbor Brewing Espresso Love
BEER INFO

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: 84 | Ratings: 173
Photo of emerge077
2.92/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub in December 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours near black with a thin mocha head and not much of any lacing on the way down. Nose brings a decent amount of overly roasted espresso with hints of chocolate. Taste is about the same, as the espresso carries a bit of good flavor but nothing else really backs it up. Feel is medium. Drinks okay but not one of the better coffee beers, and not one of my favorites here.

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Photo of jlindros
2.76/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Despite the low rating, I was kinda looking forward to trying this. Thanks to THECPJ for it.

Pours a darker colored fizzy small head that disappears instantly leaving not even a trace that it existed in the first place. The beer is mostly black with a slight brownish thinning on the sides.

Nose is muted and a bit weird, adds some light oats, slight roasted malt and a bit of coffee, but it also has a weird chlorine pool water like aroma, and a hint of acrid coffee grinds.

Taste also comes a bit weird, with an acrid light coffee grind taste to start, very light oats and a bit creamy, but also a weird watery taste like diet corn sugar water, hard to describe, very light roast malt flavor and coffee. the malt profile just falls out of the bottom and its like they forgot the pale malts and just added LME/DME and a touch of coffee grinds with sprinkle of flaked oats. Finishes sticky and still very slightly sweet, pretty thin still with very little actual finish.

Mouth is thin feeling despite the slight oatmeal and creamy texture, very little carbonation as well.

Overall not very good at all, super thin with almost no malts, the oats are even very little, the coffee/espresso is just burnt acrid coffee grinds and little of it, the mouth is almost non-existent just a thin watery syrup like thing with no carbonation either, also no finish. And what's with that weird pool water aroma?!!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.04/5  rDev +26.6%
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 mactrail
2.71/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heavy on the java and some kind of chocolate flavor. It does have the dregs of the coffee pot and touch of sourness, maybe from all the burnt malt. Big, coarse foam, though it provides long-lasting suds in the glass. Kind of a soured wine smell. Heavy in the mouth, strong and acidic flavors.

I am fortunate to share this 12 oz and not feel obliged to drink it all. Back to the chemistry set on this one.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.27/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +15.4%
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 RblWthACoz
3.27/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wish the coffee would be a bit more pronounced and intense. I guess that is just what I have come to expect. There is a nice oily tone to it, but I am more interested in the coffee flavor as a whole, and not so much what may come out of the bean. As it warms, it starts to get more bitter and not so pleasant. It was decent at first, but got not so nice as it warmed. Eh. A miss.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.74/5  rDev +17.2%
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 GarthDanielson
3.74/5  rDev +17.2%
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 tempest
4.12/5  rDev +29.2%
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 Viggo
3.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Lexx for picking this up in Michigan.

Pours an opaque dark brown/black, thin tan head forms, settles to a thin ring leaving some nice lacing behind. Smell is oily coffee beans, vanilla, chocolate roast, sour woodiness, interesting. Taste is buttery, fresh roasted coffee and vanilla, sourness is present and gets a bit stronger the more you drink but isn't totally unpleasant, caramel and chocolate near the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth, although the buttery sourness becomes a bit much. Thanks Lexx!

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Photo of THECPJ
3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: coffee, malts, roast,

taste: coffee, roast,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body,

overall: not a bad beer, just nothing really stands out. glad I got to try it and give this brewing company a try.

Cheers,
The CPJ

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Photo of Brenden
3.39/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of papat444
2.52/5  rDev -21%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Don't remember who shared this, sorry.

A - Black with some brown on the edges. Not much head and what was there didn't last very long.

S - Kind of an off smell. A bit like chemicals and old coffee. Nothing really that pleasant.

T - Taste is like the nose. Tastes like chemicals, possibly some pool water, old coffee. The flavor is kind of thinned out and a little bitter-oat going on in there.

M - Undersized, not a ton of carbonation.

O - Not a good beer, off tastes, poor mouthfeel. No interest in trying this again.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.55/5  rDev +11.3%
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 morimech
3.2/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.49/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of tpd975
3.75/5  rDev +17.6%
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 alexgash
2.45/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark, inky coffee brown with a small, tiny-bubbled, coca-brown head that doesn't last long. Oily, sugary, mocha-coffee aroma. Some roasted notes, but mainly sweet coffee/cream/chocolate frapucinno-esque. Roasted coffee and malt bitterness up front. Slightly tart, lacto-sweet astringency follow. Milk chocolate and muted coffee before more lacto-sour/sweet in the finish. Medium-bodied with an oily, flat feel. Undercarbonated. Might be off, if not it's not very good.

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Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with hoppymeal (thanks!).

Poured a dark, dark brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of coffee, roast, chocolate, caramel, and oats. Tastes of coffee, oats, and caramel. Has a light tart finish.

Notes from 2/6/08

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.21/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Courtesy of dschuster at the 5/1/08 BA Gathering at Catskellar

Appearance - pours a murky, blackish brown. Minimal head, just a lazy swirl in the middle and a thin crown. Just about a proper color but a lackluster show out of the bottle.

Aroma - a fine aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Fresh and rich and has me wondering how unwise it might be to drink a caffeine bomb later in the evening here. If it tastes as good as it smells I won't care...

Taste - brief malty grain, a tasty beginning of fresh coffee unfolds but is undone by a wash of sour/lactic tartness. If you hold the beer in the mouth for a few moments, you can get the coffee goodness that is intended but the sourness has the last word. If you take a quick sip/swallow, the coffee doesn't register, just the sour. A promising start but a KO finish I'm afraid.

Mouthfeel - average to thin body which could be better. Subdued carbonation which I kind of prefer for this coffee stout style.

Drinkability - lose the sour bit and this brew could be one of my favorites. With it though, it's one harsh bit of drinking, I can't even imagine what Todd Benzinger might have to say about it. Thanks anyway, Dave. ;-)

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Photo of Beaver13
3.5/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of stortore
3.77/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had on 3/7/16.

Pours a deep brown, dark and opaque, not much head at all, a foamy ring remains. Smell is coffee, malt, some chocolate, light vanilla, touch of sulphur. Has a good aroma. Taste is coffee- not as strong as the nose, malt, some chocolate, a little vanilla. Smooth, the taste lingers, maybe a little thin for the ABV.

Not nearly as bad as the current rating, a very good coffee flavor with this one. Maybe you don't want six, but worth a try otherwise.

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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love from Arbor Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.