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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

76 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.61%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arbor Brewing Jackhammer Old Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +19.4%

reviewing a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. but i have also had it on tap at the brewpub.

appearance- dark brown to blackish color. not much in terms of head and nothing stuck around including a lacing.

smell- smells of caramels and toffees. maybe some faint hops and dark fruits

taste- caramels, a little in the way of hops, some yeastiness, faint alcohol and a little bit of dark fruits. i really like the balance and touch of alcohol

mouthfeel- a bit of a heavier body, low carbonation

overall- this is a good beer. I have enjoyed it many times at the brewpub and would definitely get it again if i see it on tap. i would most likely buy it again if i saw it on shelf for a good price (~$12 a 6-pack and $4 a 12 oz serving.)

01-01-2013 17:04:34 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of aaronh
aaronh

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +18.9%

Deep red with amber highlights. Not much head to speak of. Hint of malt sweetness on the nose, but it's a clean sweetness. No unusual esters going on here. Flavor at first has a pronounced fruity sweetness, almost like cherries. Then a warm alcohol note is followed by a strong bitterness and astringent finish. A fairly well balanced big beer.

04-01-2005 21:57:59 | More by aaronh
Photo of Ohiovania
Ohiovania

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

06-17-2013 21:59:24 | More by Ohiovania
Photo of GRFounder
GRFounder

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

02-21-2013 20:04:57 | More by GRFounder
Photo of drxandy
drxandy

Michigan

4.18/5  rDev +16.1%

12oz to standard pint, pours a deep dark brownish amber with hints of red, creamy tan head eventually fades

smells of delicious roasty malts, yeastiness, mmm

taste is of heavy malts fading into a bitter finish, good hoppiness in the back and an overall good balance, alcohol is definitely present, spicy, good balance, loads of flavor, nice! reminds me sort of a belgian strong with the dark fruits and almost belgiany banana-clove yeast

mouthfeel is slightly creamy, roasty, bitter, pretty tasty for alcohol content - overall quite a nice old ale from arbor!!

09-30-2008 04:06:56 | More by drxandy
Photo of association330
association330

Michigan

4.18/5  rDev +16.1%

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours murky brown with yeast clearly in suspension. Forms a pinky of off-white head which soon drops to a thin film with a ring of bubbles. Lacing is spotty.

S - A mixture of citrus and candied fruits. Sweet malt backbone with hints of spice (definitely some clove). Faint hop note. Overall, has a Belgian-like quality to it.

T - Follows the nose. Nice malt complexity, leading in with sweet & sour citrus, which gives way to a swallow of dark & candied fruits and licorice notes. Slight hop bitterness lingers in the finish.

M - Medium-boded, carbonation is a little too harsh. Slight alcohol warmth.

D - I don't know about calling this an old ale, but it's a nice Belgian-style something.

02-28-2010 06:30:13 | More by association330
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 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 danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%

(Beer originally tasted 10/27/2009. Notes transcribed below. Please note that I received this bottle gratis for assisting representatives of the brewery with picking bottles of non-Arbor Brewing beer for a tasting they were running.)

A: Brown very hazy body, nearly opaque. Slight yellow tinge on the bottom. No head, as expected for a beer of this ABV.

S: Spicy aroma, nice roasty notes of cloves and coriander. Malty underneath, somewhat nutty.

T: Very much like the aromatics. Strongly spiced with a malty "brownish" backbone. Slightly astringent on the finish due to alcohol, although that alcohol is well-hidden by the spiciness of the malt.

M: Moderate thickness, some carbonation. Spices tickle the tongue and give the beer a nice chewiness.

D: More like a winter warmer than an old ale. But quite nice.

12-21-2009 02:34:54 | More by danielharper
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +11.9%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours an opaque, English Breakfast tea brown that's capped with an impressively creamy, khaki-colored head, with excellent retention, that leaves a healthy coating of sticky lace in the glass.

S: Interesting yeast aroma. Reminds me of something vaguely Belgian. Also present are bitter chocolate, roasted malt, candi sugar, dark fruit, caramel, roasted nuts, and fudge brownies (?).

T: Slightly fruity Belgian-esque yeast flavors coupled with roasted malt, caramel, bitter dark chocolate, pan-roasted nuts, candi sugar, plum/raisin, citrus hops, and some dry cocoa powder in the finish.

M: A bit too bright upon initial pour. As it sits in the glass it becomes noticably creamier. Though not as smooth and oily as I'd hoped. Finishes quite dry. Very enjoyable nonetheless.

D: I dig this beer. I should've bought more to sit on a bottle or two...

09-25-2008 23:16:01 | More by GbVDave
Photo of david131
david131

California

4.03/5  rDev +11.9%

A- A deep red/ brown liquid with some very active carbonation. The head is massive and fluffy with pretty good retention.

S- Lots of caramel and light fruits. Smells a little Beligan funky and sour. Some candied dark fruit too. Pretty complex and appealing.

T- Same as the aroma, but with a little bit of earthiness in there. The alcohol is ever so slightly apparent, but it isn't bad.

M- Overcarbonated, but it isn't harsh. This really could have been something with a little less carbonation.

D- For the alcohol and style, this is a pretty easy drinking beer. It is bottle conditioned, but from the flavor, I don't really know where this will go with some age on it. Worth a try none-the-less.

11-20-2008 03:01:13 | More by david131
Photo of sm0key
sm0key

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

10-16-2012 01:46:13 | More by sm0key
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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Supergenious

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

06-23-2012 02:18:07 | More by Supergenious
Photo of plaztikjezuz
plaztikjezuz

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

tasted this at the michigan brewers guild winter beer fest.
from my notes i wa served a light brown sample with a good pillowy head.
the aroma was citrusy and malty, hint of hops.
the flavor is malty, citrus, hopsack, minerally
the mouthfeel was very full.

03-19-2006 03:51:53 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of vncolbert
vncolbert

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

11-29-2011 20:15:44 | More by vncolbert
Photo of Paul_Apsley
Paul_Apsley

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

07-06-2013 10:49:33 | More by Paul_Apsley
Photo of MichiganBrews
MichiganBrews

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

04-11-2013 20:52:59 | More by MichiganBrews
Photo of psmith161
psmith161

Indiana

4/5  rDev +11.1%

01-12-2013 23:32:54 | More by psmith161
Photo of buddha5050
buddha5050

Michigan

4/5  rDev +11.1%

06-06-2014 03:52:32 | More by buddha5050
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 jeremyd365
jeremyd365

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%

Poured a very dark amber which seemed highly carbonated and had a thick, light brown head that stayed foamy for awhile. Smells sweet, almost belgian-y with maybe a little hop in there. The flavor is a rich olde ale consistant with others that I have tried (and quite good!). It's sweet with a bitter finish and a bit of a tart aftertaste. It's medium-bodied in the mouth and quite drinkable. Seems pretty gentle for 8.5% and well worth the try!

10-11-2008 19:39:58 | More by jeremyd365
Photo of kohoutek
kohoutek

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%

Pours a deep amber mahogany with auburn hues. Very thin head and minimal lacing. Hazy, unfiltered appearance.

Aromas of caramelized sugar, toffee, roasted Kona coffee and plenty of fruity esters: grape juice, fresh apple, pear, raspberries

The flavor strikes me as very anticlimactic when considering the foreshadowed olfactory boldness. The maltiness takes front stage with bready graham cracker and caramelized sugar. The fruitiness and roast are nowhere to be found. A wave of cleansing herbal hops serve to distract me a bit from the somewhat singly presented maltiness. This beer is presented in a very dry fashion.

The mouth feel is much more thin than expected. The beer is very cold and the carbonation, while appropriate, seems to be suppressed by the temperature. Lacks flesh.

This beer drinks very easily from the perspective of its enticing quaffable qualities, but it does not beckon the imbiber with the desire to sip yet again an again to discover its hidden mysteries.

01-20-2007 14:09:16 | More by kohoutek
Photo of I_BYE_MI_BEER
I_BYE_MI_BEER

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%

08-18-2014 19:17:39 | More by I_BYE_MI_BEER
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Arbor Brewing Jackhammer Old Ale from Arbor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.