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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love - Arbor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arbor Brewing Espresso LoveArbor Brewing Espresso Love

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

157 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 20.62%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: goodbyeohio on 09-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

Thorpe429, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +24%

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.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 25, 2007
Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -7.7%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of emerge077
2.88/5  rDev -11.4%

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.

emerge077, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.28/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

TheManiacalOne, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.25/5  rDev 0%

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.

RblWthACoz, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of jlindros
2.78/5  rDev -14.5%

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?!!

jlindros, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.25/5  rDev 0%

Rifugium, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of mactrail
2.7/5  rDev -16.9%

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.

mactrail, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of imperialking
2/5  rDev -38.5%

imperialking, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of tempest
4.13/5  rDev +27.1%

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.

tempest, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +10.2%

12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle date. Pours clear dark brown color with an instant 3-4 fingers of foamy tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin cap of lacing. A little bit of lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of dark fruits, molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and caramel. Some interesting and decent aromas here, but it is definitely improving as it warms up. Taste of espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and caramel; with a bit of dark fruits and molasses. Finish is a bit too dry for my liking, but there is lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and caramel. Not much bitterness other than bitter coffee on the finish. Medium body and carbonation; with a decent creamy mouthfeel that goes down pretty smooth. No alcohol other than a warming on the finish noticed. Overall this is not as bold as I was hoping for because of my love of FBS, but this is a solid stout.

superspak, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.74/5  rDev +15.1%

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.

Huhzubendah, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Viggo
3.2/5  rDev -1.5%

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!

Viggo, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of dmorgan310
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

dmorgan310, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of THECPJ
3/5  rDev -7.7%

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

THECPJ, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
2.5/5  rDev -23.1%

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.

AgentZero, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Brenden
3.36/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

Brenden, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of tpd975
3.73/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

tpd975, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of alexgash
2.38/5  rDev -26.8%

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.

alexgash, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%

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

hopdog, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of morimech
3.18/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

morimech, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.1/5  rDev -35.4%

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. ;-)

brewdlyhooked13, May 06, 2008
Photo of GbVDave
1.65/5  rDev -49.2%

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.

GbVDave, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of Mitchster
4.2/5  rDev +29.2%

$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.

Mitchster, Nov 10, 2007
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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love from Arbor Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.