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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

79 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.50% 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
Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnieNepal
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

JohnnieNepal, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of Jas45678
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Jas45678, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of StoutHunter
3.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

StoutHunter, May 14, 2013
Photo of MichiganBrews
4/5  rDev +11.1%

MichiganBrews, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of SometimesIfart
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

SometimesIfart, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of GRFounder
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

GRFounder, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of Rostie
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Rostie, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of shamrock071521
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

shamrock071521, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of psmith161
4/5  rDev +11.1%

psmith161, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of SportsandJorts
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.)

SportsandJorts, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of kp29
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

kp29, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

AgentZero, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of sm0key
4/5  rDev +11.1%

sm0key, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of HungarianCount
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

HungarianCount, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of Supergenious
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Supergenious, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of Rich540
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Rich540, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of JimmyP
4/5  rDev +11.1%

JimmyP, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of JRdaSconnie
3/5  rDev -16.7%

JRdaSconnie, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Jason, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Tod28
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Tod28, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of IlPostino
4/5  rDev +11.1%

IlPostino, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of vncolbert
4/5  rDev +11.1%

vncolbert, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Another6Pack
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Another6Pack, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle date. Pours hazy dark reddish brown color with a small fairly dense khaki head with decent retention that reduces to a lacing cap. A small amount of lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big molasses, dark fruits, caramel, spices, and alcohol. Initially it smelled pretty good, but as it warmed up the alcohol gave off a chemical vibe. Taste of big caramel, toasted malt, molasses, chocolate, spices, and some dark fruits. Slight amount of bitterness on the finish, with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, spice, and light dark fruit notes. A small amount of alcohol taste near the finish with a decent warming afterward. This actually has some nice balance of flavor, and is not cloyingly sweet at all. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a nice creamy and smooth mouthfeel that drinks pretty easily. Overall a nice beer, the aromas were a bit off putting though.

superspak, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of GRPunk
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- A moderate pour left a 1-finger, khaki head that drops to some nice, foamy coverage. The body is a pleasantly, murky brown that shows signs of light carbonation. The foamy stick from each sip slowly falls back into the body.

S- A really nice, initial sweetness. Caramel or brown sugar with some fruity qualitites. Later on there's some light spicing going on. Maybe something of a ginger or nutmeg and cinnamon.

T- Not as profound as expected from the aroma. Malts and spicy qualities combine to make something that reminds me of the cinnamon graham crackers my kids love during their afternoon snacks. A little warmth brings some buttery, rum-like aspects and a slight, grainy quality.

M- It's really pleasant. Light carbonation and moderate-thick viscosity combine with a nice, chalky feel. There's just the right amount of warming alcohol.

D- It's really a decent sipper. Obviously not something to session, but something to contemplate during a cold Michigan winter. Overall, it's pretty much a "hit" from a brewery that tends to be kinda' hit-or-miss for me.

GRPunk, Feb 13, 2011
Arbor Brewing Jackhammer Old Ale from Arbor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.