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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
Ratings: 310 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
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

hopdog, Nov 20, 2008
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 Dalem
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Someone really loves to kick up the carbonation! The softest pour (I learned with my first go round with an Arbor Brewing beer that ya gotta watch it) caused a huge explosion of foam in the glass. Like 4 ounces of beer and the rest a head flowing out an all over the place. Waiting about 5 minutes for it to subside somewhat it does leave quite a bit of lacing.
Hazy and dark orange in color with some unfiltered particles dancing around. Mild and earthy on the nose with a light scent of hops and malt. Surprised that with all the out of control fizz upon pouring that the brew itself has nice, creamy body. Spicy and dry in the taste with a tinge of sour apple and dried orange peels.

Dalem, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of GJ40
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).

GJ40, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of FrognutUnl
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a foamy two finger head that lingers a few minutes clinging to the glass ever so slightly as it dissipates. The nose is of grass and citrus, good standard IPA smells. The taste is grassy hops at hops giving way to bit of citrus with a good malt backbone to balance it out and a slight bit pepper on the ass end. Body is light to medium. I like this beer a lot....when it is fresh. If the bottles have been sitting even a couple months some tend to become geysers. Three from my last six pack were though I did not detect any "off" flavors.

FrognutUnl, Aug 28, 2008
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 Durge
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear amber color with a big off-white head and good lace. The aroma is sharp mash and maple apple. The flavor is a dry apple tart with biscuit and alcohol. cranberry and whiskey, banana and clove. Fine carbonation and middle body feel with decent drinkability but there is some kick here.

Durge, Aug 16, 2008
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.

GRPunk, Aug 08, 2008
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.

Shumista, Jul 21, 2008
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 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.

wardough, Jul 07, 2008
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.

DrainBamage, May 20, 2008
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.

Beaver13, May 02, 2008
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.

nmyers, May 01, 2008
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.

Monkeyknife, Apr 09, 2008
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.

Dukeofearl, Apr 05, 2008
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.

ahartmurmur, Mar 29, 2008
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.

jeremyd365, Mar 21, 2008
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.

ElGrecoVerde, Mar 20, 2008
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 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.

flowerysong, Jan 10, 2008
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.

GbVDave, Jan 08, 2008
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.

malty, Dec 24, 2007
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 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.

enfield249, Dec 19, 2007
Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.