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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

310 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 310
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 9
Gots: 20 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | 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: 310 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

t0rin0, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
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.

Thorpe429, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

jaydoc, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, May 07, 2006
Photo of Jason
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.

Jason, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
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.

RblWthACoz, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

DrunkinYogi, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of jwc215
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.

jwc215, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

imperialking, Jan 08, 2012
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.

woodychandler, Aug 29, 2006
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.

tempest, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, honey, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, honey, biscuit, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, lemon/orange zest, light pine, caramel, honey, biscuit, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with smooth, moderately creamy, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice IPA. Good complexity and robustness of citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

superspak, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of akorsak
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.

akorsak, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
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.

Stinkypuss, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

BillRoth, May 25, 2014
Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

tdm168, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

dmorgan310, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of Latarnik
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Latarnik, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Zaphog, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of Viggo
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!

Viggo, Jan 16, 2008
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.

DrJay, Sep 25, 2004
Photo of Derek
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. "

Derek, Mar 04, 2006
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Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.