Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Arbor Brewing Espresso Love - Arbor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arbor Brewing Espresso LoveArbor Brewing Espresso Love

Educational use only; do not reuse.

81 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 164
Avg: 3.16
pDev: 21.52%
Wants: 5
Gots: 10 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arbor Brewing Espresso Love Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 81 | Hads: 164
Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.46/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

not the full bodied breakfast stout i was expecting, but very drinkable and enjoyable.
may try another from the same company, but I'll go after other B-stouts when the time comes. decent coffee mocha flavor that's balanced well with roasted hops out the nose.

 259 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.74/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

 353 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.39/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 771 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

$2.29 single bought pretty randomly off the shelf. Poured into a shaker pint. Let's hope this is good.

Appearance: Pours incredibly chunky with a bunch of floaters that mostly become sediment. Huge amount of yeast at the bottom. The color of the brew is a brown/black color. Small tan head bubbles down fairly quickly. Very little lacing on the glass. Meh. Average at best, I'd say.

Smell: I know it seems odd to say, but it smells watery. Watered down, actually. Wet coffee grounds. Almost a dirt sort of aroma. Just a general roastiness. A slight bit of sweetness coming from somewhere. It sounds like it smells brutally awful, but it's not that bad, to be honest. It's just not as appetizing as some other stouts.

Taste: Playing off the smell. Coffee ground sort of flavor more than actual drinkable coffee. By that, I guess I mean there's a sort of dirt character in there. It tastes gritty, without having any actual grit. A subtle dark fruit kind of sweetness that's in many darker brews as well, though I can't pinpoint it. The mouthfeel is the biggest disappointment here, I think, as it's rather thin with a fairly high carbonation -- it drinks more like a porter than a stout, the latter of which I expect to have a thick, creamy, drinks-like-a-meal kind of quality.

Not bad, but not great. This brew needs a bit of fine tuning. The thing that really surprises me is that this costs more than the Publican Porter by Short's that I just had, but it's considerably less enjoyable. I would not be opposed to having this beer again, but it's fairly average overall.

 1,576 characters

Photo of schnjac
3.7/5  rDev +17.1%
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

 375 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.53/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 533 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.27/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 381 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.49/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

 545 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.53/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

 524 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
3.68/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

 377 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.71/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 406 characters

Photo of morimech
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 643 characters

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 936 characters

Photo of jlindros
2.76/5  rDev -12.7%
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?!!

 1,403 characters

Photo of Roke87
3.29/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 2,176 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3/5  rDev -5.1%
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.


 314 characters

Photo of sweatervest27
2.62/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked this one up on a recent trip to Ann arbor. Popped the top with almost no gas release, bad sign. Poured a very dark brown, not quite black and zero head. I didn't pour very aggressively so I swirled it a bit with no luck on producing any bubbles, hmm.

The smell is bringing my hopes back up, coffee is dominant with a little malt sweetness present. Although I'm a little confused, it doesn't have any of the bold and bitter punch that an espresso would have, its reminds me more of regular coffee served black. Not bad just not what expected given the name.

Unfortunately the taste is where that lack of carbonation really brings this beer down. It's extremely flat and therefore tastes like cold office coffee, yuck. I feel like some aeration would really open up some more intricate beer characteristics here but its just not possible being this flat.

Mouthfeel is just as bad-watery, cold coffee.

Overall its a real disappointment. The label is so beautifully done but it tastes like bad folgers. At least they didn't try putting an x in espresso. That's about the only positive I have for this one.

 1,114 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

 2,380 characters

Photo of zoso1967
2.91/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 1,311 characters

Photo of genuinedisciple
2.54/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

 748 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.27/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 970 characters

Photo of surlytheduff
3.12/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from pint glass. Poured deep dark brown, with a somewhat thin rootbeer-foam colored head. Head dissipated very quickly, leaving no lacing.

Smelled rich and sweet, with roasted coffee most apparent at first, then maltiness and chocolate.

The malt was what jumped out to me on first taste, with really not much else there. It seemed like a real disconnect between the smell and taste - I had expectations of some rich flavors, but beyond the maltiness there wasn't a whole lot more going on.

It felt awfully thin for an outmeal stout, and didn't have the creaminess that I normally associate with the style.

 614 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 434 characters

Photo of papat444
2.52/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

 688 characters

Photo of bamadog
4.06/5  rDev +28.5%
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.

 1,627 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Arbor Brewing Espresso Love from Arbor Brewing Company
74 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.