Arbor Brewing Violin Monster - Arbor Brewing Company

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Arbor Brewing Violin MonsterArbor Brewing Violin Monster

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

81 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 5
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Dark Wheat Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheBrewo on 08-31-2013

A geographical approach to the werewolf legends results in identification of a major werewolf area stretching from mid-Germany into the Netherlands and Belgium.

With this in mind, we have created a strong, dark, spice ale using ingredients from those regions.

Brewed with Midnight Wheat, warming spices, and a hint of brown sugar, the Violin Monster is black as night and packs a punch at 9.5%.

Unleash your inner beast with Violin Monster Dark Ale, but beware...it finishes with a bite!
Awwwooo!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 9
Photo of mchegash
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.75/5
Pours an initial 2.5 fingers of delicous chocolate-brown head. Eventually dissipates down to about 1cm. Color looks midnight black. If you hold it up to an extremely bright light, you can see it's really the darkest shade of brown possible, but for practical purposes, it's basically midnight black. Overall a great look which fits the name of the beer.

Smell - 4.3/5
A delicious toasty chocolate smell, along with some strong nutmeg and brown sugar scents, and maybe some faint hops. Smells delicious.

Taste - 3.85/5
Moderately sweet. A rich and creamy chocolate taste combined with strong smokiness, and the nutmeg. Some hops detectable as well, more towards the end of the sip. Overall, the flavor is okay. I would have like the hops and smokiness to be a little less intense, and for the fall spices to be brought out more. Leaves a slightly-less-than-pleasant smoky-hoppy aftertaste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel - 4.5/5
The beer is medium-bodied, and extremely creamy. The carbonation is light to medium. I love the creaminess of the beer, and is was the first thing I noticed during my first sip of this beer. The creaminess makes this beer extremely smooth, with the 9.5% ABV being barely detectable. This is the creamiest beer I remember.

Overall - 4.4/5
While I would tweak the flavor in some large ways, with regards to all the other aspects, this beer is near perfect. I know it's a Fall beer, but it seems like it would make a great beer for the beginning of winter. It has the fall spice of a Fall beer, but the smokiness and creaminess that would be found in a winter stout. Overall, a great beer by ABC.

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark brown with a two-finger tan head. The head dissapates quickly leaving a very light lacing.

S - Aromas of clove, nutmeg, and banana.

T - The taste is a combination of roasted malts, vanilla, and spices(clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg). The finish has some dark chocolate and coffee that produce a nice bitterness.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is syrupy with a sticky finish.

O - This beer is weird mix of a stout and Belgian dark ale. Defiently an interesting sipper for the colder months.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, wheat, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, light banana, and herbal spice earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast malts and spice notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wheat, dark bread, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, light banana, and herbal spice earthiness. Fair amount of earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, light banana, and spice earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and spice flavors; with a great malt/spice balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced dark wheat ale. All around great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice label art! Who knew that mythical carnivores had a soft side?

The beer appears black with a thick, fizzy tan cap. The aroma brings autumn spices, to include cinnamon, nutmeg. Additional notes of pie crust, squash, malt, brown bread, raked leaves, footballs, flannel. The flavor follows the aroma. This is pretty tasty! Grandiose spiced profile without the customary cloying sweetness. Although the abv is approaching double digits, the drinkability is just fine.

Man, I've been using this organic deodorant and this hit ain't cutting it. I just took a shower a few hours ago and I smell like a bunch of adolescent boy scouts at a jamboree. Gonna have to change it up.

Anyhow, this beverage is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Chocolate pumpkin pie. Some English porter characteristics. A solid beer. I'm drinking this out of season because your mom.

Photo of biegaman
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Violin Monster looks as though it were poured from a pot of French Roast: flat, opaque, and it tends to look more muddied brown than black at most angles. It's certainly not the most handsome of ales but the appearance is at least as beastly as its name suggests.

The aroma is abundant with clove and black licorice, slick coffee oils and chocolate brownie bits. There's also esters that smack of bruised banana and purple fruits. Hints of tree bark too. Yeast, malt and spices all have starring roles in this unusual bouquet, each performance magnificent.

Violin Monster has a flavour that combines pumpkin pie spices with chocolate cake. It has a roasted maltiness that smacks of fudge brownies and also flashes of vanilla, but also a heavy dousing of baking spices and brown sugar. It is earthy, savoury, and somewhat decadent. And for something that's 9.5%, it doesn't last long (the liquid that is, the aftertaste is another story).

It's possible that this ale may be the ultimate autumn treat. It combines so many quintessential fall-time flavours: pumpkin pie (cinnamon-nutmeg), caramel apple, tootsie-roll and chocolate, and is dark, hearty and warming. The initial impressions of clove and black licorice linger the longest.

Violin Monster has a unique name, label art and history, but it's an awfully interesting beer in its own right. It perfectly blends German Weizenbock and American Stout with just a pinch of Belgian Dark Ale to create a supernatural symphony of spicy and rich flavours; it's not of this world. The $2.39 was well worth the price of admission to this concerto.

Photo of 71CrazyOtto
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the highest ABV% versions of this style of beer you will find.

The dark roasted malt conceals this high ABV very well so be carefull drinking this well crafted beauty that is reasonably priced IMO.

Like reviewed by another here a perfect fall beer when the weather chills.

A very easy drinking American Dunkel by Arbor Brewing and this coming from a longtime German beer drinker and Weihenstephaner regular imbiber.

My only dislike would be this beer could use a little more spice to hit my old taste buds. One of Arbor Brewing best efforts.

Faring thee well now :-)

Photo of drbenderdo
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Beautiful, rich, dark chocolate color with a 1/2 inch head that lingers nicely for a minute or two.

S: Fall spices, nutmeg, clove, roasted malt. Not picking up on the pumpkin.

T: Best part of the beer. Rich, fall spices, nice boozy finish.

M: Full bodied. Definitely one to sip and savor.

O: Great addition to Arbor's lineup. Nice, complex, warming sipper for cool fall nights! Will surely have more of this one!

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.22/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a weird look, pours almost like melted chocolate. I've never really seen a beer like it and it isn't too appetizing. a small brown head that leaves nothing behind.

Smell: i get a very weird smell too, faint alcohol, spices associated with cooking pumpkin, and yeast

Taste: not like the smell but slightly better. opens up with a pumpkin/ yeasty taste. spices are fairly strong and unconventional. backend has some alcohol

Mouthfeel: a little heavy, not quite warming. not good drinkability due to the unconventional tastes

Overall: just an odd beer to me that isn't delicious. I love arbor brewing, but i don't like ann arbor's violin monster and I don't think this beer quite cuts it

Photo of TheBrewo
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

We pour a brew of the muddiest ruby brown coloring into our Bell’s Weizen glasses. It holds a one and a half finger tall head of medium brown bubbles, showing nice retention. Cloudy waves of lacing are left etched along the glass as it slowly wafts away. A thick haze cuts clarity, but no sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be moderately active. The aroma sings of autumn, with roasted chocolate and soured brown malts, warm pumpernickel bread, metallic wheatiness, light bubblegum esters, pumpkin and gingerbread spice, light vanilla twang, brash licorice, burnt brown sugar, and dark cherry syrups. The sweetness enhances with warmth, giving more of a cloying maraschino cherry sweetness, oily walnut, fresh cranberries, sweet booze, green tree sap, evergreen pine, and a light smoky leather to top things off. Our first impression is that there is a blast of nice fall spiciness, and this works beautifully over the deep, dark, roasty, and smoked malt base. As we sip, the taste opens with heavy chocolate malts, stark licorice blackness, molasses, thick char and smoke, gingerbread, pumpkin, and black pepper spiciness, baker’s yeast, bubblegum esters, green bananas, warming brown sugar sweetness, and roasty, toasty wheaty seriousness. The middle is smooth and balanced, predominated by notes of dark chocolate syrups, continued pumpkin spice, cinnamon, grainy and gritty roastiness, lightly citric and grassy hops, walnut bitters, and toffee candy sweetness. The ending wash is definitively sweeter, with banana bread coolness, vanilla ice cream, soft bubblegum, cinnamon sticks soaked in warm apple cider, wheaty char, roasted chocolates, raw leathers, molasses cookies, strawberry fruit leather, dried cranberry fruitiness, fig, and black cherry bitterness to balance. The aftertaste breathes of bittered rye and wheat, graphite and pencil eraser, chalky metallics of yeast, cooling plastic phenols, light booziness, corn husk, brown banana mash, raw cocoa, cinnamon-sugar sweetness, black pepper, gingerbread, coffee grounds, and the faintest grassy hop. The body is full, and the carbonation is medium, with most of the prickle striking at the peak of the swallow. Slurp and smack are nice, with cream and froth only slightly lesser than what you would desire. Finishing pop is syrupy and wet, leaving somewhat of a sugary mustache to be dealt with. The mouth is oiled, eventually dripping into pucker from the booze and char, without any major astringency or chalkiness to dry. The abv is high for the style, but you would never know, as the beer sips and flows like a brook.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its aroma, and its taste, which was not too far behind. This beer is a bit tough to summarize, but it seems to be a nice blend between a roasty, charcoal stout and a warming, spicy pumpkin beer, making it perfect for the change of seasons. The aroma is wheaty, endlessly dark, and sticky, helped along by sweet esters, dank fruits, and a cook’s cabinet of spice. These all translate seamlessly into the flavoring, where the heaviness hits up front, blending and softening to a sweeter, easier beer at the end of the sip. The aftertaste shows a revival of the bitterness, for a pleasant, balanced breath. The feel is thick and suits the beer well. This guy definitely took us off our feet, surprising us at every turn. Although it is still a touch warm out now, we simply cannot wait until the breeze cools, and we can wrap ourselves in blankets, head out to the porch with the rest of the six pack, and watch the trees change colors at dusk.

Arbor Brewing Violin Monster from Arbor Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.