1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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.

264 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 264
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 264 | Reviews: 142 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of civilizedpsycho


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale amber color that is moderately cloudy. Had a nice, big head.

Smell: Has a very pleasant hop aroma that has some mild hints of grapefruit hidden in the background.

Taste: This isn't exactly the smoothest IPA I've ever had. It starts bitter, it stays bitter, and it ends bitter. While I like bitter, I would prefer if it were a little more well-rounded.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin, but not watery or anything.

Drinkability: Pretty good. Not the best example of the style, in my humble opinion, but pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 20:30:03 | More by civilizedpsycho
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 bamadog


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 5/12/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a light coppery color and starts with a big three finger head with very good retention that is slightly off-white; body is mostly clear with just a touch of cloudiness to it and it shows strong carbonation bubbling throughout; soapy looking washes of lacing form on the sides of the glass as it fades down.

Smell: Lots of nice and bitter citric hops that are in the vein of grapefruit with a bit of lemon peel. I'm pretty excited about this based upon the smell, but ultimately, I would come to feel just a little let down after drinking it.

Taste: This IPA is all bitter hops -- very much of the grapefruit and lemon peel vein as mentioned in the nose and the aftertaste is all lingering bitterness; no malt balance at all; good, but not great by a long shot.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery; carbonation is strong and lively; a light stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth -- again, just a little let down by the thin nature of the body.

Drinkability: Meh. Not bad overall, but there are definitely better IPAs out there that are much more available to me. I'll take a 2 Hearted any day, not to mention a Burning River or Commodore Perry, or a Centennial IPA... Not that I'm bashing it or anything, it just doesn't compete with the likes of these other offerings within the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 18:11:05 | More by bamadog
Photo of tpd975


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

A: Pours a nice vibrant orange with a nice tall white cap. Okay retention and some spotty lace.

S: Aromas chalk full of hops. Lots of citrus and pine. A bit of syrupy sweetness hides beneath.

T: Lots of bitter grapefruit, resinous pine, and enough malt to provided balance.

M: Rich, sort of thick for the style, syrupy.

D: Good, solid IPA no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 00:09:39 | More by tpd975
Photo of sprucetip


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

from notes. Served very cold at the Detroit airport, where I was grateful to find such a worthy brew.

Active, hazy (chill?), deep amber, modest white head with decent retention and thick lacing.

Fairly sharp piny/citrus and floral hops blending nicely with caramel malty sweetness. Even enjoyable cold.

Assertive piny and citrusy hops lead but are backed well by the malty body. Sweetness is barely perceptible. Has elements of balance, but is more of a brash west coast style IPA.

Rich medium body, pleasantly viscous, and a bitter finish that isn't too dry.

I'd like to try this again with enough time to let it warm properly. That said, it's a solid west coast style IPA, and I look forward to trying more Arbor brews.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 03:40:08 | More by sprucetip
Photo of jt31914


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

12 oz bottle:

A: Red/Amber color with about a half finger of head and nice lacing/retention. Very good looking IPA

S: Hops... Cloves... Hops... It's an IPA, they stuck to the basics.

T: Hoppy! This is pretty awesome. Just straight forward hops (like a more balanced Torpedo from SN). I might like some sweetness to balance it out a little more, but for a single IPA this baby has some real kick.

D/M: Not the most drinkable thing due to the superhoppiness, but if you are a hop head this is definitely worth adding to your repetoire. Very smooth and pleasant mouthfeel.

A pleasant surprise from Arbor Brewing... like getting play on a first date.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 05:28:08 | More by jt31914
Photo of Mcculler


2.2/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy, muddy, amber - beautiful in sunlight but rather unappetising in artificial - with a large, lasting, off-white head. Unfortunately, the head might be the only good thing about this beer.

Smells faintly of bitter herbs, apple cider, slightly sweet malts, and old plastic.

Tastes like a decent IPA - mild grapefruit and lemon with a sweet malt backbone, except running through it is that bitter plastic off taste noticeable in the smell.

Strangely, perhaps interestingly, thick body with good carbonation.

Would be very drinkable without that plastic flavor. Might not make it all the way through this one. Haven't heard the best of things about Arbor brewing from relatively reputable sources. My first try of their beer does nothing to contradict the grapevine.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 22:08:50 | More by Mcculler
Photo of kegger22


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sacred Cow pours a clear, deep amber with a 3/4" head that reduces to a skin covering. I'm smelling mostly malty sweet. The taste is grapefruit citrus hops with a sweet malt background. Slightly bitter after taste. Feel is medium bodied, slightly oily and modest carbonation. Drinkability is good.

A good, not great, APA with a respectable balance of flavor. I will probably drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 17:45:40 | More by kegger22
Photo of lackenhauser


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, pale amber color with a nice, off white head. Aroma is ok-pretty much just says "hops"-nothing overwhelming. Soft and malty flavor with enough hops to make them stand out but not in your face. Has a nice earthy and somewhat woody like flavor. Lingering hop bite with a sweet malty finish. Very full body for the style. Grows on me as it goes down. I like the somewhat earthy taste to it. Nice US IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 01:06:19 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of lukeoberm963


1.85/5  rDev -50%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had this beer from a friend that bought it to make up from a six pack that he drank that was mine while I was away. When I first saw it I thought "Oh No". The last time I drank it was from another buddy of mine. He had the amber and whenever you poured it the beer foamed up like CRAZY. The glass would fill with 10% beer and 90% head. You could not drink this beer, especially from the bottle (ugh). I figured, heck this isn't the amber, I'll give it a try. When I poured it it smelled ok. When I poured it I got almost the same result 40% beer and 60% head in the glass. I had to wait almost fifteen minutes until it was drinkable. When I did the flavor was a little malty up front with a lot of hop oil, citrus flavor. There wasn't much of I hop smack like I would expect with other IPA's so I was disappointed in that also. I would not recommend this brewery to anyone unless they prefer drinking their beer fifteen minutes and warmer that when they poured the sucker.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 15:37:22 | More by lukeoberm963
Photo of semihobo


3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was drinking this on cask at the brewery on Washington St. and liked it enough to take home a sixer. Presumably that's about as fresh as it gets in a bottle.

Dark orange and hazy, just how I like em. Nice full finger of ivory head, bubbles as small as monitor pixels.

Smell has some whole wheat toast, apricots, cream. A little bit of gingery spice hints at bitterness.

Citrusy, floral hops, about average bitterness for the style. Quite mellow. Balance between sweet/dry. There is a minor and unpleasant yeast twang on the finish that was not present in the cask version. Finish is messy, everything comes together in a generically funky/bitter way.

Medium-light, creamy mouthfeel. Finish is fairly pleasant.

This bottle wasn't quite as enjoyable for some reason, but the numbers are bumped up a bit due to the tastiness of this beer on cask and previously. Very approachable IPA, sessionable without being weak.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 01:11:07 | More by semihobo
Photo of chicagobeerriot


2.55/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy and Copper-hued. A sloppy pour gives you two fingers of rocky, persistent head that's forming some decent lacing as the session progresses.

Getting a bit of citrus and peach with my first whiff, but this is not a very strong smelling IPA.

Mouthfeel is a bit thicker and full-bodied than I usually like to see from the single-IPA community.

There's a lot more flavor here than I expected based on the smell. It starts out promising, with some nice grapefruit and biscuity notes and the bitterness really makes a hard charge after a second or two. My problem with this beer is that the finish is a bit of a mess. The bitterness goes off the rails and combines with a surprisingly strong alcohol presence to leave a less than pleasant aftertaste. The completist may want to try this, but it's not going to get a repeat visit from me.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 00:33:40 | More by chicagobeerriot
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 ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge head, off white, three to four fingers with foamy consistency. Well carbonated, lively with some lace, good retention. Smells of grapefruit, lemonade, sharp hoppy aroma. Taste is quite an attack on the senses - sharp grapefruit, extremely bitter with a long but not all that pleasant finish. With air, a malt bill was more pronounced but it didn't particularly soften the harshness of the IBU front, it seemed to me that this beer was a bit off-balance. Although this beer presents as a typical IPA at first, it's not one of the better ones; I wouldn't be surprized if it drank better out of a cask or on tap, both featured at the brewpub if you find yourself in Ann Arbor. Personally, I'd like to give this another try sometime.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2009 02:44:45 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of berserker256


3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Normally I think things that come from Ann Arbor suck but I'll give this beer a fair shot. Nice hazy deep copper color. Thick off-white head that sticks to the glass. Floral hop and light citrus pine odor that makes me wanna sneeze. Oily texture, light cabonation, semi-syrupy medium body. Slight sour pine flavor with a bitter aftertaste. Burps taste like pine cones. Feels heavy in my gut, but that may be because the stomach was empty to begin with. It feels like a meal. As the beer disappears heavy lacing is left behind. Decent IPA. Ive had better but I've also definitely had worse. Go Spartans.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 19:00:36 | More by berserker256
Photo of Bierguy5


3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy, light copper color. White foamy head disappears pretty quick, leaving just a few patches of lace on the sides of the glass.

Some earthy and light citrusy flavors. A few caramel and fruity notes. Comes across more of an English IPA here for me.

A very light caramel malt is at the front, lacking depth. Some fruity flavors come in next, but nothing too dominating. Bitterness seems to be on the low side. Most of the bitterness comes across as earthy and floral.

Light body, with a low amount of carbonation. Seems more like an English Pale Ale tom me. Not very impressive.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 11:31:12 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of 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 GordonQuid


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Tangerine hue with a one inch solid white head and slight lacing.

Smells of huge alpha hops. Piney as hell in the nose with a bit of marmalade sweetness.

Taste is high alpha acid bite; citrus and pine with a nice balance of cara-malt sweetness. The blend gives a nice toasty orange marmalade finish.

Good fresh IPA. The high alpha gives this beer a much bigger profile.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 13:23:20 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of paco1029384756


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

Cloudy light orange color with one and a half fingers of white head.

Scent of citrus, some hops and light grain. Nice and light with a good hop focus.

Taste is a bit more one-dementional. Grain and malts combine to create a somewhat bland flavor, but the faint hops save it from being bad. A bit of spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with good carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 03:50:15 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Nickls

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - We have a major gusher here....way too much carbonation made for an impossibly large white head. Otherwise, a clear yellowy gold color with hints of orange

S - Pine and citrus hop notes; little else going on

T - Aggressive hoppiness; very thin malt backing. Pretty clean, and just OK

M - Too much carbonation; prickly and scrapes your palate

D - Not terrible, but not great for the style. A bit astringent and the carbonation is too much.

Overall, can't help but think this needs to be tightened up in a few ways. Not a terrible IPA, but not one of the better ones out there.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 03:54:08 | More by Nickls
Photo of UA8


3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy amber/ orange with a medium tall off white head.

S- Big oragney citrus notes dominate the nose, there's also a slight background note of caramel malt.

T- Lead with a slightly funky malt note, midpalate is dominated by citrus hops, while the finish rolls in with a slightly medicinal flavor and herbal hop bitterness.

M- Very good roundness for an IPA, with nice light carbonation.

D- This a solid IPA I do however wish that they had mentioned it was live beer with yeast in it that I wound up pouring out into the glass because I didn't know. If it weren't for slight off notes in the flavor it would have rated higher.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 02:07:24 | More by UA8
Photo of WakeandBake


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

bA dark hazy golden orange color pour with a very thin white head. Aroma of caramel malt,pine,apple and floral hops. Flavor is suprisingly malty,very balanced, nice caramel malt backbone,with a nice hoppy note,not super bitter but some good hop flavor (pine & grapefruit) ,light to medium mouthfeel.light carbonation, crisp clean finish with a lingering sweetness, a very nice IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 22:52:23 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of cdViking


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

Received in BIF via Alan. Consumed on 4/26/09.

Poured into pint glass. Wonderful medium-bodied amber color, with a nice amount of good-looking head. Smell is good, with the scent of citrus fruit and hops. Taste is alright, with the citrus fruit coming out most clearly; bitter aftertaste, almost excessively so. Good carbonation and relatively smooth feel. Nice and drinkable, wouldn't mind having a few more of these.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 05:40:43 | More by cdViking
Photo of BoitSansSoif


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Orange copper hue w/only slightly hazy body and rich frothy head. Awesome retention...still a full cap after 45 minutes and nice lacing.

S-Toasted malt, apricot, apple, a liberal amount of a variety of hops, but mostly pine, herbal, and floral characters. Also a little bit of spice.

T-Bitter apricot and apple and slightly sweet toasted malt blend midway w/spice and feed into a hoppy finish. The aftertaste is extremely bitter w/a hint of apricot.

M-Carbonation is moderate and carries body and flavors well. Only drawback is the extremely bitter aftertaste.

D-Enjoyable brew unlike the rest of its class. Interesting, complex, and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 06:17:00 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of Yetiman420


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

Picked up yesterday at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids and consuming as fresh as possible.

Unibroue tulip glass.

Light copper color with some haziness due to a bit of yeast dregs. Lots of sticky lacing off the forced two finger head.

Crystal aroma which could benefit from more American-style hop aroma.

Full flavor with a noticeable alcohol flavor.

Nothing much from the aroma 1/4 of the way through.

Not a very clean IPA. Perhaps I should have left out the small amount of dregs for a cleaner finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 02:42:53 | More by Yetiman420
Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.