Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier - Arbor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt BierArbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

86 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 15.43%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-26-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 55
Reviews by eberkman:
Photo of eberkman
2.16/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very pretty, dark, hazy mahogany with a thick tan head with great staying power. Not what I expect an altbier to generally look like, but still a nice-looking brew. Then everything goes to crap.

A nose of overpowering sticky-sweet caramel malts balanced by nothing but the odd stench of Gerber's strained vegetables.

The maltiness in the taste is largely a pruniness accompanied by a bizarre green-olive taste, with an astringent bitterness in the finish. Yuck.

Mouthfeel is decent -- full-bodied with moderate carbonation. But not particularly drinkable due to the strange flavor/aroma combination.

The whole experience kind of matches my other current experience of watching Lieberman's speech.

Then again, maybe it's just a bad bottle because I don't remember reacting this way to another one I had a few days ago (albeit with a largely shot palate after a couple of DIPAs).

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.42/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Arbor's brewery in Ann Arbor. Olde Number 22 pours a deep brown color, exalted by some ruby and deeper mahogany clarity towards the outer edges. A thin, light-tan head settles around 3 millimeters and lasts for a surprisingly long time before finally reducing to a simple ring outlining the glass.

The aroma's pretty light overall, though it does gain some steam once it finally has a chance to warm up a bit. Chocolate-esque malts, both sweet and roasty, both playing the field for dominance, and ending up with reasonable balance in the end. Some crisp yeast sits on the back end, along with a faint and musky, dry-hopped aroma. Nothing too notable here, but nothing offensive, either.

"Coffee beans" never really popped into my head as I was smelling this, but it's the first thing I can taste when I take a sip. Dry, roasted coffee beans, topped off with a dash of cocoa powder cutting through the timid oils. A hint of sweet malts helps balance the roast; not quite creamy, although there's an impending sweetness that I'm having a hard time placing a flavor to. And just for a second, there's even a very mild, raisin-y tartness that's gone almost as fast as it crept in.

The malty sweetness fades slowly into a bitter-roasted aftertaste that is again fitted with a great deal of dry coffee beans. Mild astringency in the finish, and light acrid; the yeast gives a nice, dry and clean feel on the palate once the flavors have finally cleared. A touch of nuttiness sneaks in there somewhere, too. Thin-medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Didn't have many expectations for this one, as I'm not the biggest Arbor fan out there, and I am also not very well versed in altbiers; needless to say, I ended up thinking this was pretty decent, and it's definitely something I would recommend trying at least once. Kind of like a dry stout, though maybe just a touch lighter in malty character (though still very roast-heavy). Nothing spectacular, but certainly not bad.

Photo of Beaver13
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a creamy off white head that retains and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet sugary caramel and dark fruits

The flavor is is yeasty with some chocolate malt and some fruit. It has some acidic plastic and metallic bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery.

Overall, it kind of reminds me of Jolly Pumpkin's Bam Noire, but not as good.

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Two shades away from black, light brown head

SMELL: Burnt raisins, toasted dark bread, yeast, dried grass, faint herbal hop

TASTE: Smooth, semi-creamy, medium body, mild charred note, grassy, burnt pizza crust, balancing hop bitterness, clean, faint caramel, nutty yeast, semi-sweet finish

Brewer aims for the Sticke Altbier and seems to hit that right with the more robust profile, expect a slightly higher abv but this works for me. It keeps on growing on me sip after sip.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Nose: some fruit, a little dark sugary molasses, has a dopplebock aroma with more sugar and roast
Pours dark chestnut with a 1" finely bubbled foam collar, lacy.
Palate: A little sweet, some dark fruit but more dark malt and dark malt flavors, a little tanginess in the finish balances some of the sweetness, a little strong on the roast flavors suggesting a porter or an English mild ale, but drinkable.
Medium to medium low carbonation, medium full body, balance to the malt.

Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This ale is a very, very dark brown with just a hint of red sneaking in at the edges. It shows a surprising body, looking fairly thick. The medium brown head is about half a finger tall at its peak, though it displays some pretty strong retention and is able to throw down some firm splashy lace.
The aroma showcases light notes of dark fruits and thick dark breads that are heavy but on the toastier side along with a bit of caramel and treacle. It's fairly dry despite those sweeter elements, particularly as some powdered unsweetened cocoa notes come out.
The flavor brings out a porter or stout-like roast and even some charcoal. Malts are more along the lines of lightly burnt toast, though some caramel does make an appearance. A bit of balance adds dryness in a grassy sort of note from hops.
The body itself, almost full but sticking to a solid medium range, is pretty rich. It's dry all the way from middle to finish after starting off semi-dry, and all the more as a feel like burnt woods and an ashy feel mingle on the palate.

Photo of Sammy
3.01/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No aroma, little dots in the head. Some bitterness and decent for the style, but not the best I have had. A tad of chocolate malt, smoke,saaz like carbonation. Bit lemon and acid in the finish and on aftertaste. Quaffable though didn't all work out on this batch.

Photo of tempest
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Bello Vino for $1.69

This is a dark brown alt, but I guess it doesn't always have to be amber-colored. The aroma and flavor were both a bit disappointing. I just pulled a deep caramel sweetness, without much other complexity. The body was balanced and drinkable, but the flavor wasn't compelling enough to try this again.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on January 18, 2006. On tap at the brewpub. Dark clear brown burnt, with orange fringes and light rim of off-white. Light euro hop aroma. Effervescent, with toothy chewy grains, deliciopus horse blanket and some earth. Grains, oats and more pungent hops. Well balanced and lucious. Palate is smooth, airy and glowing. Finish is sweet. A light sour lemon at the end. Exemplary for the style.

Photo of Bung
3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Rather opaque black pour into the tulip. Huge off white head, had to pour and wait a couple times. Burnt malt and toast aromas, but rather light. Lively mouthfeel, light medium body. Burnt malt taste with hints of dark chocolate. Subdued hop presence. Very, very clean, but maybe just a bit overcarbonated. If not for the carbonation I would say this is extreamly drinkable, but as such is just good drinkability. A very interesting and unique alt.

Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany into black, a swirl of foam that caps it off, then it fades to a ring and a broken skim. Faint fried plantain fades into roasty malt and bitter dry bakers chocolate aroma. Ashy roast malt, thin and dry, with bold cacao, earthy tobacco, and bitter chocolate. A touch more body would make a huge improvement. As it stands, it's very drinkable and above all tasty.

Thanks to TheBlackMallard for the tip on this one!

Photo of StoutHunter
2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier the other day for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I didn't have the greatest first impression of Arbor Brewing, but after trying their version of Dark Corner I decided I should give them another chance and see what else they got. No visible bottle dating but the store just got them in and I know it's a 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The label looks pretty plain but I like the old school font the name is written in. It opened with a loud pssh sound and it poured a deep, dark, and hazy brown color that even with a very gentle pour it still yielded five fingers worth of tan mocha colored head that died down to a thick layer that stayed till the end and it left lots of nice looking lacing. This is a pretty nice looking beer.

S- I pick up a large amount of medium roasted malts that have a medium amount of sweetness to them. The malts impart some nice subtle coffee and chocolate aromas along with a slight grainy aroma.

T- The flavors starts of with the medium roasted malts that retain that medium amount of sweetness to them, it could be toned down a little. The flavors aren't as deep and roasty as the aroma led me to believe. It had a nutty flavor that I normally find in Brown Ales, to me it tastes like a mix between a Brown Ale and a lighter Porter, the flavors just don't go together that well. The finish was semi bitter, earthy, and dry, no real presence of hops.

M- It had a semi dry finish with a light body, I felt it should have been thicker, it has a watery feel to it that I don't like that much. This beer was also over carbonated, normally I don't mind a little extra head but this one took a while to pour even when I made sure to be gentle, but it was so carbonated that the mouthfeel suffered because of it, it was just to fizzy and I feel like that messed up some of the flavors.

Overall this was a pretty dull beer that I wasn't impressed with. I liked the look and aroma of this beer but after that everything pretty much went down hill. There wasn't much going on in the flavor darpartment and what was there was pretty subdued. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was a mess, it was too watery and way over carbonated. I wasn't digging this brew and I don't think I would ever buy it again. I have very little experience with this style with this being first Altbier I have knowingly drank, but this beer just didn't do it for me. I can't say I would recommend this beer to people, its just too out of whack and needs lots of work. I am starting to think Arbor brewing's beers are hit or miss for me, with the misses being the majority, but I am not ready to write them off just yet.

Photo of GbVDave
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a dark, cola-brown with redness at the edges. Capping this is a creamy, light-khaki head that quickly turns into a thick and bubbly ring and leaves some decent lace in the glass.

S: Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, floral hops, tart berry, and a touch of smoke.

T: See above. Slightly soapy. Notes of caramel and toffee and a kiss of chocolate. Slightly tart at the finish.

M: Thin and tangy. Nice dry roastiness.

D: Interesting and pretty damn refreshing. Could use a little more chocolate malt to offset the tart tanginess.

Photo of soupyman10
3.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with an excellent light tan head that billows and floats for minutes. Nose is mild, some light spiciness and sweet malt. Flavor is interesting. Surprisingly sour; this is my first alt, but there wasn't anything in the description about sourness. In any case, there's a fair bit of roasted molasses, light astringency, some light fruit. Fairly well balanced in terms of malt and hops. Feel is alright, medium body, maybe a little light on the carbonation. This one isn't bad, although it's the first alt I've had, so I don't really have a lot to compare it to. The sourness was a bit of a surprise, but overall, it's drinkable.

Photo of zdk9
3.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours with abundant carbonation- 2 full fingers of head that is light cocoa over a black unhighlightable brew. Some speckled lacing.

S- Strong coffee aroma with perhaps a touch of brown sugar and raisin.

T- Strong coffee taste, some dark malt backbone to it. HOps are peeking at the edges but hard to identify.

M- High carbonation, to a sharp level.

D- Ok I suppose, but this tastes like a maltier porter, which is singlulary coffee flavored.

Photo of ppoitras
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 5" of medium brown head over the 1/2" of very cloudy dark brown brew. There will have to be some patience involved with drinking this brew. Huge frothy head fades WAY slowly, I went away and came back later, left monumental amounts of lacing. Aroma is nutty medium to dark malts. Taste is also medium malts upfront, with an increasing amount of hops as time passes. Mouthfeel is still a bit gassy, but overall not bad, and drinkability is pretty good, once you can finally drink it. This one was satisfying is some areas, kind of lacking in others, but has some nice potential.

Photo of Roeters
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown with a slim light brown head

S: Average old style ale nothing very exciting

T: Great slightly yeasty taste, with good body

M: A normal beer nothing very exciting

D: This is a beer that you could sit and drink a few, very easy going down.

Photo of RichieS2
4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from taps at ABC into authentic looking 16 oz stein.

Appearance - Was excellent, as dark and opaque as any stout, very little head with no visible carbonation.

Smell - Some mild sweetness from the malt with a hint of that coffee taste associated with dark beers.

Taste - Very intriguing, the darkness is deceptive as the beer itself is very light and sweet when it hits the tongue much like a brown ale. From there the coffee like taste found in porters and stouts asserts itself ever so slightly, it is never overpowering but it is there amidst the sweetness. Then it finishes clean.

Mouthfeel - Perfect consistency, it had lager-level lightness of body without being watery; a definite pleasure to roll around in my mouth.

Drinkability - With a lighter body and moderate alcohol content a 2nd order is in my immediate future.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown hat is nearly opaque win a nice off white head. Some lacing. Nose brings a bit of sweet malt that consists of darker chocolate, bringing some dryness as well. Taste and feel come together with a nice dry malt characteristic. The taste is a bit plain wihout much more than some grain and faint flavors behind it, but I like the feel. Drinks well and shows me yet again why I wish this were a more common style.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a deep, dark black with a meringue-like tan head and beautiful lacing.

The aromas of sweet roasted malts and raisins is present but very subtle.

The taste is a cherry sourness up front while finishing with roasted malts and coffee. The malts seems almost watered-down compared to the sourness.

Medium mouthfeel and mildly carbonated.

The balance seems off on this one. The sour cherriness upfront is just too much.

Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this one n tap at the Arbor Brew Pub.

Poured a dark brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of nuts, light smoke, roast and some dark fruits. Tastes of nuts, roast, and some caramel. On the malty sweet side.

Notes from 05/06/06.

Photo of marcellaproust
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorites at ABC. At 5% ABV, it's a comfortable, pleasing drinking companion. But it's tasty without being distracting, that's why I love the Alt. Pours a dark chestnut brown with a modest edge-wise head (which nonetheless lasts and lasts). Subtle aroma like roasted barley and malt; you begin with great tongue- and throat- tickling hops and perfect--yes perfect--carbonation which ensures that the malt and barley don't come close to suggesting other genres such as porter, stout, or dopplebock. No, the hops/carbonation balances this beer that rounds out a finish with malt, roasted barley, and a hint of caramel that while smooth, refuses to suggest any sweetness or heavy-handed microbrewing flavor over-kills. A really fine, I'd even venture elegant, beer.

Photo of robbyc1
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour, not much head, not much nose, but deep malt, that is what this style is mostly about, eh? Thanks to Hophobo for providing it as an extra, not much depth, but a nice solid brew. Not sweet, no hops, just solid malt, good mouthfeel and very drinkable, just not one to seek out unless all you see are macros around, probably only around Ann Arbor/Detroit, nice but move on.

Photo of BMoney575
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 4-27-08

Pours a super deep brown, with a little bit of red mixed in. A huge, off-white head sits on top, leaving the thickest lacing I've ever seen.

Smell is subtle, malty and smoky.

Taste is sweet, almost sour at first, with a smoky middle to even things out. Very different.

Mouthfeel is good, smooth and thick.

Drinkability suffers from the odd combination of sour and smoky.

Overall, a different kind of beer. Good, but very hard to place.

Photo of dfillius
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A: Dark liquid? I expected golden. It does say dark on the label though. 1/2 finger of tan head from an aggressive pour. Poor head retention. Clear dark brown almost black liquid. Porter colored.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, barley graininess. Really delightful. Very nice aroma sits about halfway between a brown ale and a porter.

T: Dry, bitter from roasted malts. One dimensional. Needs more hops to balance the sweetness. Nice alcohol nuance at the end of the glass. Merely okay.

M: Dry and a tad watery, but still bitter and bold. Boldness stops a tad short for me.

D: Pretty easy drinker. I would move on to another beer at a bar, and I don't think I'll buy this one again.

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Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier from Arbor Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.