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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.

278 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 8
Gots: 9 | 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
Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRPunk


3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- It poured with a 2 finger, foamy/fluffy, off-white/cream head and a very hazy, golden/orange/brown body. It had medium carbonation and the head never dropped, leaving great sticy rings.

S- Initially it had a fruity aroma nearing sour apple with a some caramel coming later.

T- The flavor was hard to place. There was burnt caramel malts and definite hopping that gave a distinct grapefruit flavor. At the same time it had a tinge of sour.

M- It had a lot of carbonation and hop bite.

D- Odd flavors make the drinkability less than it could be.

Overall- An odd flavor profile makes this less than expected. Overpowering grapefruit bitterness is too much. I actually drank a second bottle to make sure the first wasn't a fluke, but I think it was presented as it was meant to be.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 17:01:13 | More by GRPunk
Photo of Shumista


4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into my Kona Brewing pint glass.

A-Pours a dark golden color. I've had this beer on numerous occasions and everytime it seems to pour extremely foamy. Pouring with about 1/2 foam, this particular beer was not an exception.
S-Sweet and hoppy.
T- Very hoppy throughout, bitter as well. The noticeable malt presence balances the beer very well though.
M- Very good, not to thick. High in carbonation, but it works for this beer.
D- As IPA's go this is a very drinkable one. I could definitely drink several of these.

I think this is my second six pack of Sacred Cow, and with each one I drink this beer grows on me. Definitely will buy this beer again. Though nothing groundbreaking it is definitely a very solid, drinkable IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2008 03:27:37 | More by Shumista
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 DrainBamage


4.93/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark copper color with a thin lace of head. Smell is hoppy and has grapefruit aromas. It goes down bitterly and is moderately carbonated. Taste is incredible. Doesn't get much better than this. Drinkability is perfect for an IPA. This is by far the best Arbor Brewing beer (out of bottle) that I've had and a top notch IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 06:11:30 | More by DrainBamage
Photo of Beaver13


4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy brownish gold with a thin white head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is bright and fruity (lemon) hops with some grains in the background.

The flavor is fruity, piney and grassy hops with some grains and a good bitter finish that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and kind of watery.

Overall, it's pretty one-dimensiona and a bit thinl, but it's a very good IPA and one of my favorites from Arbor.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 02:23:20 | More by Beaver13
Photo of nmyers


4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden with a hint of orange, a little cloudy, with very little head.

S- Hoppy with a touch of sweetness.

T- Nice hop flavor all the way through and a sweet, but bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied, with a slight but pleasant bitterness.

D- Very drinkable and I could see myself getting in trouble with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2008 02:44:12 | More by nmyers
Photo of Monkeyknife


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

Poured from a bottle a slightly hazy golden brown with a whisper thin white head.

Aroma of pine and citrus hops with a backdrop of sweet malts.

Tastes of citrusy hops with a bitter touch plus a nice balance from the malts. The finish is very clean.

Medium mouthfeel, sticky, and moderately carbonated.

This was better than I thought it would be and a fine example of the American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 19:29:37 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of Dukeofearl


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle from Merchant Fine Wine in Dearborn Heights, MI, for $1.89 in late March, 2008.

Pours a medium golden with a very frothy head. Aroma of fresh hops, subtle notes of herbal and piney hops. Flavor is sharp, clean pine hops that stood up very well to spicy food. High hoppiness for IPA, no citrus/fruit, all pine trees and oils (not my favorite hops profile, but it works here).

Nothing specific jumped out at me while drinking it besides "this is good!"

Paired with a spicy chicken Pad Thai.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 21:42:50 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of ahartmurmur


4.72/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I tried this beer at a local bar's 'Brewer Night' when the people from Arbor were at the bar. It was a good time.

It was a cloudy gold in the big 25oz mugs at the local bar i love so much. (Crunchy's for anyone interested).

I was in a college bar so my smell was screwed by the ambient smell. there was definitely some citrus hops coming through though.

Started out with a strong balanced bitterness and finished with the taste of grapefruit as if to remind me that i wanted to have another drink.

Full mouth feel, not disappointing in the least.

One of the best beers I've had and that may be due to my fondness of IPAs or my fondness for fresh beer. Either way i could have had a couple more if i didn't have classes in the morning.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2008 15:12:17 | More by ahartmurmur
Photo of jeremyd365


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It appeared very dark with little head.

It smelled hoppy and perhaps a hint of citrus.

The taste reflected the smell pretty well.

It was quite heavy, perhaps one of the heaviest IPAs I've experienced. The Sacred Cow was good, but heavy enough that it keeps it quite a sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2008 20:52:20 | More by jeremyd365
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Careful when pouring this one, the head is massive and rises very fast. It's an impressive looking beer, to say the least. Pours a rich ruby brown, with 2/3 of the glass holding the head.

Smell was mostly floral with some sweet citrus.

Taste starts heavy on the fruit peels, everything from oranges to lemons. There's some apple flavors, some floral notes, and a heavy taste of grapefruit. It all works great, but hurts drinkability as it becomes to acidic feeling.

Mouthfeel was great... crisp and creamy, just how I like this style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 14:40:46 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of 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 flowerysong


3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Impossible to pour. Excessively foamy white head. Excellent retention, though.

Smell: Subdued piney hops.

Taste: Pale malt, high hops bitterness, floral and pine hop flavour. Some pithy citrus as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, highly carbonated; feels heavy.

Drinkability: Not really there. Decent taste profile buried under a muddled mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 03:57:04 | More by flowerysong
Photo of GbVDave


4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a glowing, golden-amber color. Unfiltered-lots of suspended sediment. Small, tight, and creamy head that leaves barely any lace.

S: Nice aromas of toasted malt, big hops, and spicy caramel.

T: Piney hops, toasted bready malt, and pepper. Very nice interplay between the hops and malt.

M: Juicy yet dry. Bitter and hoppy the whole time with a nice spicy finish.

D: I found this to be very sessionable. This is a great workhorse AIPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 23:20:14 | More by GbVDave
Photo of malty


3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I've been sitting on the bottle for about 6 weeks now, no BBD seen or any other freshness stamp for that matter. It’s a distributor sample, so I'm guessing it’s still very fresh (?).

Pours a glowing amber orange with micro suspended particles. Loose and patchy off-white head that’s 1/8" at the edges.

Nice earthy and pulpy hoppy nose. Sweet malts twinkle between the hop presence giving me hope for what’s to soon come.

Very bitter tongue curling hops attack the edges of my gullet. Very sharp and gritty, taking no prisoners. Salty and mineral flavors appear at the finish. Nice biting dryness.

Mouthfeel is a bit weaker than medium bodied. Fine carbonation that gallantly tries to the body from waning, but cannot hold-up the overall watery construction. Nice dry finish.

Drinkability is so-so right now. I hope I'd feel differently in Mid-July (?).

Overall an unmemorable IPA. The attack of the first flavors were aggressive and pointed, but everything else after that seemed to sag and unravel. I won't be buying this on the shelves but would retry on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 02:19:28 | More by malty
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 15:04:31 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of enfield249


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy copper, with lots of particulate matter. Slight ring of foam.

S - As soon as I opened the bottle, I could smell this beer. That is very uncommon for me with my weak nose. Strong floral spice smell.

T - The taste is primarily citrus, with some strong underlying bitterness. Also a very small amount of malty sweetness.

M - Medium, about what I would expect from a IPA.

D - Overall a very good IPA. The smell was really awesome, and very forward which is nice. I would drink this beer daily if money and time permitted.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 23:45:42 | More by enfield249
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 Dansting


4.53/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a very murky copper color with a thick white head and the most sediment I've ever seen in a beer (which is a positive for me). Strong lacing. Aroma is very hoppy and citrusy. Mouthfeel is very nice. Flavor is a rush of hops and grapefruit. Bitter finish. This beer was a lot better than I expected. Solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 04:11:51 | More by Dansting
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber appearance with two fingers of white head. Leaves a touch of lacing on the glass as the beer goes. Looks how an IPA should. Nose is slightly sour, but otherwise is subtly bitter with very light toffee malt. Flavor is very bitter with strong floral hoppiness. Light sourness shows up again. Body is medium and well carbonated. I've had a number of Arbor beers and they seem to almost all have a fairly strong sour presence (with the possible exception of the Bliss). I'm not sure if that's on purpose or not, but it seems strange for most of the styles. In any case, it wasn't too strong here, so this one's okay (although if I were going for a local IPA I'd probably stick with the outstanding Crooked Tree IPA or Two Hearted Ale).

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2007 16:26:56 | More by soupyman10
Photo of jspruit


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

I have heard of this brewery from Ann Arbor, but havent ever had the chance to try any of their offerings. It was an easy choice for me to try this one once I saw it in the cooler.

Poured from the bottle in a dark copper/orange hue with a large bubbly white head that stuck around for quite awhile. Some sediment appeared in the bottom of the glass and stuck around for the entire performance-fine with me.

Smells great-a strong yeasty IPA that makes this style of beer so attractive to me. A bit of citrus and malty character makes this an IPA with some extra flavor that I really enjoy. There is some bitterness and hops flavor and I think that overall it is really well balanced and full of body.

Overall I think that is a great beer that goes down well and has plenty of flavor and not too hoppy for an IPA so it can be a real session beer for me. I will definitely try this one again and anything else from Arbor Brewing too!

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 21:39:39 | More by jspruit
Photo of sweethome


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an unfiltered hazy orange/gold almost copper color. The nose is of citrus primarily - a bit muted for the hops I see now laying in my glass.

Hop attack - upfront bitterness of grapefruit. Nice hop flavor and just enough malt to let the hops run. Slightly watery on the tips. The finish is grassy, some grapefuit still - very long bitter finish that keeps you chewing on it.

Tasty effort from a brewery that just started bottling rather recently.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 04:18:43 | More by sweethome
Photo of mattcrill


3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Light citrus. Orange and grapefruit on the front. Lemon rind in the middle. Clean citrus flavors throughout.

Appearance: Cloudy brick red pour with a sudsy white head. Looks bottle conditioned given all the floaties and hop chunks.

Flavor: Hop bitterness up front...powdery and resiny. Some background crystal malts but mostly hop bitterness throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry and clean.

Overall impression: I would like to see more hop aroma and flavor. Seemed to be all hop bitterness and I was hoping to see more fresh hop aroma. Well crafted but it seemed unbalanced towards the bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2007 01:32:39 | More by mattcrill
Photo of jasonpeckins32


3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy orange in color with red hints and not much head.

Mild nose. Hoppy but not citrusy or piney. Malty, almost creamy as well.

A bit on the mellow hoppy side, nothing powerful or overbearing, yet still an enjoyable IPA.

I find it somewhere between medium and heavy bodied. Strange, every sip seems a bit different than the previous one.

Excellent, no extreme citrus or bitter overkill. Highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2007 19:43:34 | More by jasonpeckins32
Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.