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Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA - Arbor Brewing Company

Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPAArbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

266 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 266
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beernut7 on 07-30-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 266 | Reviews: 142 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ferrari29


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in 8oz mug at Arbor Brewing Company

A - Dark amber body ; nice one finger white frothy head; head looked healthy; held well; lots of lacing; sticky; semi-opaque body

S - Light pine and citrus notes; smooth and not overwhelming aromas; deep roasted malt nose; nutty and slightly floral; soapy-rinse smell at the end

T - Not much bitter IPA bite; beer sip washes away with a dry feel and bitter taste; nutty; light roasted malt flavor in the middle of palate, touch of pine and light citrus notes at the front of the sip

M - Creamy, then turns very thin; deep bitter aftertaste; slight tingly feel on tongue; flat; no spunk or IPA kick; retro-olfaction has moderate level of bitter mucus taste

D - I give this a higher overall score due to the high, cask temp, nice! Well served; easy to drink and enjoyed, cask conditioned, hard to do, but well done; I'd have another if I were to come to Ann Arbor!

Serving type: cask

08-05-2011 03:09:59 | More by ferrari29
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at the brewpub in Ann Arbor. It's got a hazy appearance, copper-amber color, frothy wet foam.

Nice aroma, grapefruit and other citrus notes, fresh and hoppy. This tasted really good too, you almost can never go wrong with a cask IPA. This one had the creamy and smooth body you'd expect, generally solid in every category. If I wasn't trying to hit other brewpubs in the same night I might have stayed here and ordered a few more, this really hit the spot.

Serving type: cask

05-24-2011 13:16:52 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was available on cask at the ABC brewpub in Ann Arbor.
Appearance - nice deep copper with a moderately frothy white head.
The texture is like an English ale - creamy, a little slick, and gently carbonated.
The aroma, however, is intense American hops, citrus and grapefruit predominate with sweet malt and caramel lurking gently beneath.
The taste is fruity upfront, with sweet and biscuity malt notes backed by intense citrus hops and a strong bitter finish.

Serving type: cask

04-22-2011 11:55:01 | More by
Photo of salvo


3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The cask conditioning really adds a welcome creaminess to this respectable IPA. Poured copper-brown with a full inch of frothy head into a pint glass; smell of citrus and grapefruit hops with some earthiness and a hint of malt. Certainly pleasing to the nose.

The taste is strongly bitter at first, and while the bitterness doesn't really mellow, the hops come on stronger with time and a few sips. Tangy is a close word, but it's not exactly right. Grapefruit gives way to the buttery mouthfeel; very light carbonation, and served close to room temperature, the flavors are all really bright and clean.

This is a soft, smooth cask conditioned IPA: certainly worth trying on cask at the Arbor or Ypsilanti locations; tastes are subtle and well-balanced.

Serving type: cask

07-10-2010 03:01:26 | More by salvo
Photo of ComputerBeer


4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pale Amber to copper color. Creamy texture, great cask condition, some malt aroma under generic american hop aromas. Not over the top in hops which is great just enough hops to support the style and malt body. I had two of these with out great palette fatigue, it seems to change as you drink it. The malt profile really comes to the front after some time. What I wish more IPAs were like.

Serving type: cask

05-24-2010 02:55:20 | More by ComputerBeer
Photo of dirtylou


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on cask at the brewpub

cellphone notes

appearance: hazy grapefruit amber body, frothy beige cap. a sight for sore eyes after a long drive from Madison

smell: earthy hops - grapefruit, pulpy hop presence, nicely spiced

taste: a nice cask IPA - moderately hopped primarily showcasing pulpy grapefruit and lemon zest - floral citrus and delicate white pepper. saw the bottles around too but figured fresh at the pub was the way to go

mouthfeel: pulpy, juicy hops - medium body, light bitterness

drinkability: good - a solid brewpub IPA

Serving type: cask

09-16-2009 04:19:27 | More by dirtylou
Photo of hopdog


4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask version enjoyed on tap at the Arbor Brew Pub.

Poured a medium orange color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of floral, citrus, light pine and lightly spices. Tastes of citrus, light spices, and caramel. The hops were there, but more on the softer side.

Notes from 5/6/06

Serving type: cask

11-20-2008 20:49:24 | More by hopdog
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on cask in a tulip pint glass at Arbor Brewing Co while on a business trip to Detroit. I had just reviewed this in the bottle the night before and the experiences were completely different.

A - Golden and hazy. A moderate white head with good retention.

S - Fruity and floral hops. Very nice.

T - Bitter and citrusy with a nice grapefruit flavor. Not over the top (as I like them best) but good. Just enough malt to do its job. Very smooth and balanced.

M - Nice body and perfect cask carbonation.

D - It could do with a little more hops but still a very good IPA. This was much better than my bottle experience. I can't believe they came from the same recipe (I guess maybe they didn't).

Serving type: cask

09-11-2008 12:27:59 | More by GJ40
Photo of tempest


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand-pulled from the cask at the brewpub and served in an imperial pint glass.

The cask was very fresh and this beer was a real treat. The hops, like all the flavors thanks to the cask, were light on the tongue with a grassy citrus taste. That's balanced against mild biscuit and caramel malts. The drinkability is excellent and the aftertaste and finish is a fine peppercorn bitterness.

Serving type: cask

08-23-2008 14:59:35 | More by tempest
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Cloudy light amber color with a huge bubbly head that eventually settles to a creamy three finger cap; virtually coats the pint glass with lace

Smell: Orange blossom citrus with a hint of caramel

Taste: Immediate orange citrus flavor builds upon the underlying biscuity flavor; soft blend of the malt and hops after the swallow, with a slightly floral finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with soft carbonation

Drinkability: Distinctively different in its tremendously balanced character; just extraordinary on cask at ABC

Serving type: cask

07-14-2008 02:35:29 | More by brentk56
Photo of wardough


4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on Cask at ABC. One of the most balanced and drinkable IPAs that I've had. Serves a light copper into the 20 oz imperial pint glass (ABC still serves Imperials). Taste is wonderfully balanced between the bitter, caramel, sweet, and hop flavors. The cask made this much more drinkable and mouthfeel was beautiful.

If you're at the pub, don't pass up the Cask conditioned version. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: cask

07-07-2008 22:09:04 | More by wardough
Photo of Dogbrick


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask sample at the brewpub: Slightly cloudy orange color with a medium thick and rocky off-white head that has fair retention. Sheets of lacing. Aroma of citrus and hops underscored by a pleasantly sweet malt. Medium-bodied and moderately bitter with hops, grapefruit and a nice malt base. The finish is hoppy and lasting. Overall this is a good cask IPA.

Serving type: cask

10-09-2007 19:16:39 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of david131


2.7/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on cask at the brewery/ restaurant.

A- Clear, golden liquid with absolutely no carbonation. There was a beautiful white head sitting atop the beer that did not seem to go anywhere throughout the entire drink.

S- Very subtle hops with a solid malt backing. Not much going on here. The lack of carbonation really hurt this beer.

T- The taste was just like the smell. No matter how long I washed this beer around my mouth, it was hard to get much out of it. Carbonation would have helped show off some of the hops.

M- Very creamy. Served at a good temperature. It could have been that I was searching for more flavor, but I did not have a problem letting this beer wander my palate.

D- I was not wowed, but I am curious to try this beer in its carbonated form. From what I got out of it though, it was a good run of the mill IPA, nothing more.

Serving type: cask

01-27-2007 16:29:07 | More by david131
Photo of woodychandler


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It took a while, but it obtained a big, fluffy, bone-white head after it settled. It was a really deep amber color with surprisingly little cloudiness, again, following settling. It had a floral, hoppy nose and the mouthfeel was light to medium with a great, hoppy bitterness on the palate. The finish was dry, hoppy, and lingering. Mmmm. Finally, it created beautiful, strata-like lacing.

Serving type: cask

08-29-2006 22:58:42 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Frozensoul327


4.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amazing offering from Arbor Brewing. On Cask. Totally world class. I cannot say enough about this IPA. Pours from the hand pulled cask to a rich golden cloud of beer heaven, that settles to a royal orange / gold color with a small head of creamy foam. Aromas of fresh sour citrus, hops, and floral notes. Taste was exceptional. Totally amazing. Lots of citrusy-fruits and rich hops, with some bread maltiness and a touch of a yeasty like quality. Hints of cooked veggies and grains. Wow. Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, oily, utterly amazing. Drinkability? Are you kidding me?! This is one of the best beers i've ever had! World Class. Highly Recommended.

Serving type: cask

06-18-2006 17:31:50 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the engine lighter copper with a creamy top,aromas werent as big as expected with piney vineous hop coming thru most.Flavors were very nice piney,herbal hops that just lingered nicely on the palate over top of a drier biscuity malt base.The hops just seemed to just hang there wich made me wanna drink more the low carbonation from the cask made it slide down oh so easy.It was a big seller with the locals with the cute barmaid wrenching on the pump all night,very well made.

Serving type: cask

05-07-2006 22:00:15 | More by oberon
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this handpumped from the brewpub.

A: Golden-bronze with a white head. Nice retention, awesome lace!

S: Plenty of citrus from the Cascade hops; bready malt.

T: Quality pale malt, with a pleasant abundance of Cascade hops. Not as bitter as most IPA's; perhaps it's more of a strong APA?

M: Lightly carbonated; moderate body is creamy, and slightly acidic in the finish.

D: Great!

From their website:
"Sacred Cow Cask Conditioned I.P.A
A West-coast style India Pale Ale with an over-the-top cascade hop presence that gives it a spicy nose, citrusy ruby-red grapefruit palate, and a dry, floral, hoppy finish. I.P.A.s are big strong ales, heavy on both the alcohol and the hops. Unlike conventional ales which go from fermenter to serving tank fully carbonated and under pressure, cask ales leave the fermenter flat, and are transferred to a cask along with unfermented malt. In the cask, the ale goes through a secondary fermentation which leaves it gently carbonated. Stored and hand pulled at cellar temperature (53 - 58 degrees). 6% ABV. "

Serving type: cask

03-04-2006 19:37:18 | More by Derek
Photo of macpapi


3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arbor Brewing had this beer on cask when I last visited. Used to drinking the normal draft version, so this was a bit different, but enjoyable nonetheless. This standard I.P.A. has a nice amber/light orange appearance, with an impressive puffy white head and very good lacing. The smell is a bit on the light side. There are certainly notes of floral hoppiness along with a citrus aroma. None of them are terribly strong though. The taste is evenly balanced between hops and citrus. It is not overwhelmingly strong, but very pleasant. There is a bit of a bitter kick on the back of the tongue, that helps make this otherwise highly carbonated (casked) beer full in the mouth. Has a nice bit to it. Overall, I've always been quite impressed by this beer. To my mind it is Arbor Brewing's best. Reliably tasty, but not overly amped up, it is a great brew to enjoy for the night when visiting this brewpub.

Serving type: cask

12-04-2005 14:04:57 | More by macpapi
Photo of Gaisgeil


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown in color with a creamy cask head. Mouthfeel is very silky being from cask. Nose is very hoppy, a bit piney and herbal. Taste is very nice, very strong hop bitterness, but well played out, not overly bitter, just about right. There is a nice malt backbone under there, but clearly the hops are the star of the whole affair.

Being on cask the mouthfeel and drinkability is very high.

Well crafted and very enjoyable.


Serving type: cask

09-19-2005 01:40:36 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of xgrigorix


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask conditioned, presented in a shaker pint.

Medium amer hue, solid 1" of off white foam. Head retains very well.

Smell is thick with orange & pine - I can't wait.

Very respectable American style IPA. Sweetness pops right up front, some neat grain flavours play around, and then the whole thing dries out, and the hops take over. Great floral notes hide in among the over the top citrus & pine. Medium bodied, gentle carbonation. Quite good.

Serving type: cask

07-21-2005 17:15:38 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of granger10


4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes

This Arbor offering poured a glowing orange color with a creamy white head that fades after a few sips. Aroma is lighter than most IPA's yet I still get grapefruit bitterness and an acidic twang. The body on this beer is really smooth and rounded as well as medium in thickness. The flavor play very well off this. Fruity sweetness begins the flavors but is soon rounded out by a floral hoppiness. The hoppy flavors grow more intense and bitter with a piney edge to them but get rounded out by a nice sweet yeasty flavor. Finish is not dry but almost creamy. Very nice all around, a great cask IPA.

Serving type: cask

07-19-2005 11:50:35 | More by granger10
Photo of aaronh


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange body with a long lasting cream colored head. Sweet malt and hop floral aroma. Nice grapefruit rind bitterness with decent malt sweetness. Smooth Mouthfeel is very nice and full without becoming heavy. Bitterness actually seems less than the Best Bitter, most likely due to balance. This is an enjoyable brew.

Serving type: cask

03-29-2005 23:06:55 | More by aaronh
Photo of BrewMaster


4.58/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from the hand pump at Arbor Brewing on 10/11/04. It was served with a creamy head typical of hand pumped beers atop an orange to amber colored beer. The aroma was hoppy and fruity. The flavor was complex and sweet wih notes of apple, apricot, and layered hops. The middle has a touch of raspberry as well. The ending is malty and clean. The beer has a medium body with excellent creaminess. Bottomline is that this IPA is excellent and would be a daily drinker if I lived close by. Not over hopped and very well done.

Serving type: cask

10-14-2004 16:36:49 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of DrJay


3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub in downtown Ann Arbor. Slight hazy, coppery/orange colour. Impressive, long-lasting head that left rings around the glass with each sip. Aroma and flavour were completely dominated by the use of cascade hops. This worked well for the aroma where there was just a hint of malt, but made for a very one-dimensional flavour profile with nothing really there other than the hops. The flavour was almost completely pink grapefruit, with a bit of floral character. Appropriate low carbonation and medium/light bodied. Even though the flavour wasn't too complex, it left the palate refreshed with a citrusy finish.

Serving type: cask

09-25-2004 14:46:53 | More by DrJay
Photo of beergeek279


4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask at Arbor Brewing. The color was golden/copper, with a nice foamy white head. The smell was a strong grapefruit citrus hop. The taste was a very good citrusy, grapefruity hoppiness, with a good balance with the maltiness. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, this would be one I could drink very many of!

Simply an amazing IPA, and something I was glad to enjoy with trbeer once the festival ended. A very good citrusy blended IPA, and unlike most cask IPAs didn't lose much of the hop bitem and this would be something I would be pleased to have again!!!

Serving type: cask

07-25-2004 03:19:29 | More by beergeek279
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Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.