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Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA - Arbor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPAArbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

281 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA Alström Bros
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Ratings: 281 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Hunt Club. Yellow with a significant head, and then lacey. Average mouthfeel. Very bitter and then drying, so if there was complexity of flavours it was a jumbe in the hops. Drinkable, but only average for the style. Maybe better on cask the way the brewery began serving it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2009 13:57:32 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

08-18-2012 20:35:43 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a retty dark copper brown considering he style. A bit of hear. Nose brings some citrus and tropical notes along with some sweetness. Taste is slightly bitter but more so sweet with a bit of citrus. Moderate body. Drinks fairly well all things considered. A worthy brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2010 11:48:31 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger."

--Mark Twain

Chaotically bubbled tangerine that would put most Champagnes to shame. An exceedingly gentle pour netted an entire hand of beige froth that probably won't deflate in the next five minutes. Looks like I need to take a trip to the brewpub to see and taste this one at its best.

Even through all that foam, I can still appreciate an orange juice-soaked American hoppiness atop a pale malt base. At least I assume that primarily pale malt was used since I can't smell any caramel. Gotta be at least one of the 4-Cs, if not more than one.

It's fairly easy to tell that Sacred Cow IPA is good beer underneath all the bubbles. Or, more precisely, that it would be good beer if it was bottled properly. Decent flavor and bitterness is present, it's just that the mouthfeel brings the whole thing crashing down in a flurry of anemic fizziness.

There's still no hint of anything darker than pale malt... and there isn't a whole lot of that. More sweetness to offset the alpha acids would be great. The beer is only moderately bitter early and is impressively bitter late. Part of that has to due with the out-of-control carbonation, I'll bet. Earthy, bitter orange and dried apricot do what they can to rescue a flavor profile that clings to average like a drowning man clings to an inflatable doll.

It's a shame that it's no longer possible to see the scores for each individual attribute (edit: thankfully, letter grades only was a short-lived experiment). In case you were wondering, the mouthfeel gets a 2.0, also known as 'not impressed'. I think I've cataloged its faults well enough already without running through them again.

It's entirely possible (likely even) that this beer is a damn sight better on-tap than in the bottle. Since I've liked 2 of the 3 Arbor beers that I've had so far, I know they can do better. As I've experienced it today, however, this Sacred Cow is anything but USDA prime.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 15:04:31 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
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 jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

10-20-2013 14:15:19 | More by jaydoc
Photo of oberon
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 RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh. This is decent, I guess. It doesn't really pop in my mouth like I would hope an IPA would. Carries a thick body and a lasting flavor. Considering the style, I suppose that I have greater expectations. So, overall, this falls short and doesn't really do much for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 16:34:30 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Dense rocky head, hazed golden amber

SMELL: Oily citric rind, nectarines, estery, toasted biscuits, nutty yeast, mild caramel

TASTE: Orange zest, mild toasted biscuit, warming alcohol, hop bitterness, yeasty, taffy, evergreen, mango, bitter semi-dry finish

A solid IPA, 80 IBUs? Sure it is bitter but I focused on the well rounded hop character rather than just the bitterness. A balanced drinkable IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 00:58:32 | More by Jason
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours hazed dark amber with a frothy off-white head that slowly descends then stays, leaving spotted lacing.

The smell is of some grapefruit, earthy spicing and caramel.

The taste is of grapefruity citrus, a hint of pine, caramel, earthy spicing. There's a touch of acidic astringency. Caramelish maltiness rounds out the bitterish finish.

Refreshingly dry with a pleasant aftertaste, but not quite as chewy as I would like with the style. The carbonation is on the aggressive side, but it holds up in a medium body.

Just a bit too astringent and carbonation a bit much to be a "session" IPA or to put highly on my IPA list. But it has a nice taste overall and does pretty well in a highly competitive style.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2008 19:55:09 | More by jwc215
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imperialking

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

01-08-2012 22:23:03 | More by imperialking
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

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 akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle from Plum Market in AA (she's a whore).

A: The IPA is golden amber with a thick pea-soup haze. The narrower base of my glass glows with radiant orange while the mouth is a brown morass. 2.5+ fingers of white foam, requiring a break in pouring, leave a bit of lace behind.

S: A strong dose of citrus emerged on popping the cap. As the ale sat in the glass, more citrus wafted out, a nice aroma. Up close, the ale is oily, with grpaefruit sharpness that manages to crowd out all but the strongest of caramel.

T: That nice aroma is a deception! It sets the mind of with expectations that cannot be met. The hops, sure they are plentiful, are active but a little on the degraded side with a leafy vegetal flavor. Caramel malts, potentially a saving grace, instead steer the ale towards barleywine territory. And, I swear, the aftertaste has a bretty huskiness about it.

M: The mouthfeel, with its aforementioned huskiness, seems to miss the mark, especially in light of the nice aromas.

D: I didn't try this on tap during our AA, maybe I should have. A little long in the tooth I think.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 14:54:09 | More by akorsak
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

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
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DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

06-18-2013 18:31:11 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazed copper color with a white head and lace. Aroma of pine, caramel and grapefruit. In the taste, grapefruit pith, pine and caramel. Strongly hoppy with a solid bitterness. Grapefruit is strong. Medium bodied, well carbonated, with a drying hop bite. Overall this is a good IPA. Big grapefruit.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 00:14:09 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

05-24-2014 23:31:08 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

Thanks to Lexx for picking this up in Michigan.

Pours a cloudy amber, thick white head forms, leaves behind a lot of lace, forms a solid ring, lots of floaty chunks. Smell is sweet, herbal, some honey/caramel, pine, lots of floral, bit of lemons or grapefruit, neat. Taste is similar, very bready, caramel, floral, lemon zest, bit of pine, some grapefruit and biscuits in the finish, solid bitterness but well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, smooth, big bodied. Quite nice, thick and full flavour. Thanks Lexx!

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 02:58:47 | More by Viggo
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

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 Derek
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
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dmorgan310

Panama

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

06-28-2013 04:06:34 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

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 TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

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
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Zaphog

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

08-29-2012 15:09:12 | More by Zaphog
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again, n8dietz, you are the man for the pick-up.

Hazey and deep copper, rust, amber hues. Great lacing, good bubbling, and a good head.

Rather sweet bouquet of malt and hops. The citric, caramelized orange peel combined with heavy toasted malts makes me think of caramel drizzled over an orange right before you bite into it.

The malts are so sweet that the flavors make me think of toasted honey, bread crust, and biscuits. Resiny sweet palate that has the combined sweetness of orange peel hops and super toasted malt and almost Belgian like fruity yeast.

Very America styled IPA. Very complex and seems to use more than the standard IPA ingredients to get their desired flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 23:43:50 | More by scruffwhor
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Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.