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Arbor Brewing Jackhammer Old Ale - Arbor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arbor Brewing Jackhammer Old Ale
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BA SCORE
82
good

75 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.89%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SometimesIfart:
Photo of SometimesIfart
SometimesIfart

Michigan

3.28/5  rDev -8.9%

A - Pours very dark amber with a two finger slightly off-white head which leaves no lacing.

S - Raisins, caramel malt and toffee make an appearance up front, followed by some very slight chocolate and sweet candy.

T - Pretty much follows the nose with booze soaked raisins and sweet chocolate, followed by a small amount of cherry and wood.

M - Medium, boozy body with moderate carbonation.

O - Overall, It was alright. I'd have again, But not very often

03-09-2013 07:48:18 | More by SometimesIfart
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Rudy copper and clear, off-white head holds together well

SMELL: Caramel, toasted grain, dried grass, browned apples, pears, herbal hops, faint alcohol, cake batter, doughy biscuits

TASTE: Silky smooth, full-ish body, caramel, dried grass, toasted bread, herbal spicy hop, yeast, warming alcohol, apple skin, pear juice, clean, semi-dry grainy finish

A pretty amazing Old Ale, very clean but the flavors keep up with complexities and making it interesting to drink. Going to throw the rest of this bottle at a 12 month old cheddar. A sleeper beer, one that most beer geeks are missing out on.

02-27-2012 01:00:29 | More by Jason
Photo of sm0key
sm0key

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

10-16-2012 01:46:13 | More by sm0key
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%

Lots of lace and a creamy head on top of a brownish amber body. An aroma of musty yeast. Spicey and fruity, with a noteable aftertaste. Chocolate malts, caramel, barley, warming alcohol. Would be a feature in a side-by-side with Kuhennen ales. Not as satsifying as other old ales I have trade, not the real thing but nice.

01-28-2007 03:41:59 | More by Sammy
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%

On-tap at Clark's Ale House. I have to wonder where these random Michigan beers come from.

It was good, but I didn't really get much of the rich caramel malt flavors that characterize an old ale to me. Came off fruitier, like a barleywine, and hopped like an American version. The hops still seemed grassier, but there wasn't much flavor, but bitterness

04-29-2007 05:42:04 | More by tempest
Photo of Shumista
Shumista

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -8.3%

12 oz. bottle into my beer mug.

A- The beer pours not as thick as I expected it to, and with a huge amount of fizzy head. After a gentle pour my beer mug is a little less than half head. (The large hard to control head is something I've encountered with other beers from Arbor Brewing.) The color is a very dark reddish brown.
S- Smells sweet and like roasted malts. Maybe some bitterness in the aroma.
T- Big malts, dark fruits, and bitter at the end. Leaves a very bitter aftertaste.
M- Much thinner than other examples of the style I've had.
D- Two would be enough. I wouldn't recommend buying a whole six pack for yourself.
As far as Old Ales go, this one really just isn't as good as some of the others that I've had. Worth a try if your from the area, but not something I will buy again.

10-16-2008 05:39:59 | More by Shumista
Photo of CharlesDarwin
CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%

Originally reviewed on January 18, 2006. On tap at the brewpub. Pours a cloudy brown/amber/orange with opalescense. Light bready fruit with cherries, bourbon and lime in the aroma. Flavor is a warm alchol, yet still some thickness and not too much depth. Fruit, with a touch of chocolate, maybe some pears. Almost aged like. But overall, restrained alcohol and malt. Not much complex characterisitics. Straightforward and drinkable. Finish is sweet, with a light hoppy dryness.

12-06-2006 03:44:16 | More by CharlesDarwin
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.6/5  rDev 0%

Dark caramel color with a thin head that hung on for a good amount of time. Lacing fails to stick to the glass. I left the yeast sediment in the bottle. A good aroma for the style. I smell toffee, grass, gingerbread, and some yeast esters. Unfortunately the flavor does not live up to the aroma. A little too much caramel malt for my taste. Tastes a tad artificial but is not too bad. Bready flavor with a touch of ginger. Mildly hopped with just a faint touch of spice and pine. No sign of alcohol. So close to having a good mouthfeel but is just a little too thin. Nicely carbonated however. A decent old ale that just falls short in a couple of areas.

01-09-2011 19:00:03 | More by morimech
Photo of Stu_Grimson
Stu_Grimson

Michigan

3.72/5  rDev +3.3%

08-20-2014 04:56:10 | More by Stu_Grimson
Photo of Tod28
Tod28

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

120z bottle. I've had it on tap on the brewery(Ann Arbor).

Dark amber in color. Not much head on it, and didn't last long. No lacing on the glass though the beer had been sitting out in 20degree snow storm.

Kind of has an english ale taste to it. Nothing stands out about it.

Would drink again. Would be a good beer to switch things up with.

01-15-2012 03:27:55 | More by Tod28
Photo of Rostie
Rostie

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

02-18-2013 12:16:23 | More by Rostie
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -6.9%

12 oz. Kind of a murky orange pour a layer of white head. Turns to a ring but stays, laces ok.

Aroma is a fair amount of malt, caramel and some light red fruits, citrus and pine.

Malty flavors, but a bit mellow all around. Toffee, malt a bit of caramel apple. Just a balancing amount of piney hops, but there really isn't that much to balance. The finish is pretty dry with just the faint piney hops.

Medium body, but a bit thin really, does not coat the mouth. Carb is ok.

Everything is just ok, nothing offesnive, just very subdued. Makes it pretty much a one and done.

07-17-2010 03:13:13 | More by Bung
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

2.55/5  rDev -29.2%

Pours into a Duvel glass nearly all foam. Pouring gradually eventually produces a glass that is 1/2 beer, 1/2 foam. Bubbles are huge at the top, sparkly and soapy, leaving flecks of lace here and there.

Apple juice box or fruit cocktail aroma, with plastic off notes. Alternately roasty and medicinal. Roasty, ashy malt taste with antiseptic tartness. Symptoms of infection...the body is way overcarbonated, and foams up with each sip. Something is amiss here, and I bought this bottle near the source in Ann Arbor. Possibly the single was old or just infected, $2.29 from Main Party Store.

01-05-2009 00:32:27 | More by emerge077
Photo of BierFan
BierFan

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%

This beer has a cool motto printed on the label, "It's quitting time somewhere.". No freshness date or abv is listed unfortunately. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a flute.

Appearance: Big tan head, clear dark brown body. The head and carbonation are bigger than I expected them to be.

Smell: Dark ripe fruits, cloves, and molasses.

Taste: The taste is much like the smell. Cloves are really strong and it reminds me of a wheat beer even though it obviously isn't. Alcohol is mild and warms the throat. Very nice.

02-10-2009 05:42:38 | More by BierFan
Photo of Another6Pack
Another6Pack

Michigan

3/5  rDev -16.7%

11-22-2011 02:19:05 | More by Another6Pack
Photo of HungarianCount
HungarianCount

California

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

08-07-2012 01:53:31 | More by HungarianCount
Photo of HardyA
HardyA

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

02-07-2014 03:44:55 | More by HardyA
Photo of stortore
stortore

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-22-2014 04:22:30 | More by stortore
Photo of toolbrew
toolbrew

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. I poured about two fingers of beer, and the next 1/2 of the glass was head. It wouldn't dissipate quickly so I poured the remainder of the bottle and let the head run off. Clear, dark walnut color.

Sweet aroma like dried fruit. Can smell some alcohol too.

Has a clove-like taste. Hops taste grassy.

Slightly oily coating in the mouth, but not off-putting. Hop sensation hits the back of the mouth the most.

Beer goes down easily for its style.

12-08-2008 02:07:25 | More by toolbrew
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

3.96/5  rDev +10%

I picked up a bottle of Arbor's Jackhammer Old Ale a couple weeks ago for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. I haven't heard of or seen this beer before, but the price was right and I haven't had this style in a while so I decided to give it a chance, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage, it just showed up so I think it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label isn't that great and isn't too eye catching but I do like the caution tape border on the label. It poured a nice and hazy mahogany brown color that took on a nice ruby hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice lacing behind. This was a pretty good looking beer, the color was good and the head and lacing were really good.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a loads of malts that impart some dark bread, toffee, and caramel malt like aromas with lots of dark fruit aromas with raisins and figs sticking out the most with a little bit of fruity sweetness in the background that reminds me a little of some Belgian candied sugar. Towards the end I get a slight bit of roasted malts with a light chocolate like aroma. This beer had a good aroma, it was pretty true to style and it had a good amount of complexity to it.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of malts that impart all those malty aspects that I got in the aroma, but it's the caramel that seems to stick out the most. Up next comes a little bit of alcohol, it's noticeable, but I think it's pretty well hidden for the most part and not overpowering. After that comes dark fruits and some cherrys sticking out the most followed by a noticeable woody flavor. On the finish there's hardly and bitterness just a little bit of warming alcohol and it had a caramel and dark fruit like aftertaste. This beer tasted good, it was pretty true to style and it had a nice bit of complexity.

M- Pretty smooth for the abv, clean, medium bodied, with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but I felt like it should be a little thicker with a little less carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a good a beer, it was also a good and pretty solid example of the style, none of the flavors or aromas seemed out of place and they both had a good amount of complexity. This beer had good drinkability for the style, it was smooth, not too boozy, and the flavors did a job at holding my attention with their complexity, I might be inclined to drink a couple bottles if I had nothing to do in the mourning. What I liked the most about this beer was the how true to style and complex it was, I also really liked the appearance, it's a good looking Old Ale. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was the only thing that seemed off for the style and I think it would much better suit this beer if it was a little thicker with a little less carbonation. I would buy this beer again, it's a pretty affordable Old Ale, which isn't too common for the style, I will be picking up a couple more to put in the cellar, I think they may have some potential for ageing and I recommend this to anyone who likes the style, it's a nice example of what an Old Ale should be like. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I didn't have my hopes set too high since Arbor can be pretty hit or miss but this one turned out pretty good and I thought it represented the style nicely. It's not going to take the place of Bell's Third Coast Old Ale as my favorite of the style, but it's still a good and solid example that I enjoyed drinking. Thanks for the tasty Old Ale Arbor Brewing Company.

05-14-2013 03:49:09 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of Gryphon69
Gryphon69

Michigan

3.79/5  rDev +5.3%

12oz bottle
no date on bottle , but just got in so gonna go with 2014

A- Pours a fairly clear mahogany red, with a off white head that was 2 fingers high, lacing up the sides with every drink till it was gone.

S- Dark fruits, kinda sweet up front, malts, vanilla, some light alcohol.

T- Roasty, fairly sweet, little more alcohol presence than the smell, follows up with some light chocolate, vanillas.

M- Solid medium body, smooth, silky, has more carbonation than what it shows.

O- Well Ive had this one on tap and have brought it home in bottles over the last few years, this year seems to be less chocolaty / cherries. Still good beer that represents the style well, I work in this part of Mi. a lot so I get to stay up with the brewery more than others. Jackhammer is always one of my favorites, even with this being slightly off compared to other years.

01-17-2014 23:54:55 | More by Gryphon69
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

01-26-2014 05:42:34 | More by Zaphog
Photo of Giggy
Giggy

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

03-05-2014 18:14:52 | More by Giggy
Photo of JimmyP
JimmyP


4/5  rDev +11.1%

04-06-2012 03:28:44 | More by JimmyP
Photo of IlPostino
IlPostino

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

12-06-2011 20:07:29 | More by IlPostino
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Arbor Brewing Jackhammer Old Ale from Arbor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.